JURY INFLUENCED BY
HYDE'S FAILURE TO
TAKE THE STAND.
Regard to Contents of
J. W. Martin, one of the jurors in the Swope inquest case, was asked yesterday after the verdict was brought in what testimony caused the jurors to arrive at a conclusion.
"The fact that Dr. Hyde did not go on the stand and testify impressed us greatly," he said. "In the morning we had a meeting and the question of the nurses testimony as to the capsule was up for discussion. It was then that we decided that we wanted to hear what Dr. Hyde had to say as to the contents of the capsule. When we were denied this, it made an impression on me as well as the other jurors.
"Another thing which we considered carefully was the conference between the nurse and Dr. Hyde when Thomas H. Swope was stricken. It had its weight, bu the refusal of Dr. Hyde to testify, thereby shutting out all information of an explanatory nature, which he might have been able to give, impressed us deeply."
The verdict of the jury was to the effect that Thomas H. Swope came to his death from strychnine poison administered in a capsule "by direction of B. Clarke Hyde, whether with felonious intent, we, the jury, are unable to decide."
Coroner Zwart tried to get Dr. Hyde to the witness stand and testify in his own behalf, but the doctor's attorneys assumed responsibility for keeping him off the stand. They said in a statement they felt satisfied the evidence adduced at the inquest would convince the public of their client's innocence.
Dr. Hyde was apparently least interested of all in the room when the coroner's jury brought in the report of the inquest. He sat facing the jury and a shadow of a smile flitted over his features as the foreman finished reading. Coroner Zwart will certify the stenographic report of the case together with all of the evidence he has to the criminal court. This will be done immediately.
Just when a warrant will be issued by Prosecuting Attorney Conkling, if one is issued at all, is problematic. It was rumored from apparently good sources yesterday afternoon that no action would be taken until a report on the rest of the viscera, still undergoing examination in Chicago, is made to Executor John G. Paxton and Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling.
CORONER CALLS DR. HYDE.
After Miss Kellar was recalled to the stand, where she repeated much of the testimony she had given in the other days of the inquest, Coroner Zwart called Dr. Hyde to the stand. A hush fell over the court room and all eyes were fixed on the features of the physician. Dr. Hyde did not move a muscle. His attorney, Frank P. Walsh, leaned over the table and in a low but distinct voice announced:
"The attorneys for Dr. Hyde have advised him not to testify. We do not care for him to testify here, and therefore at our suggestion he must decline to be sworn."
"I have here a copy of a newspaper dated February 1," said Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling, who rose to his feet immediately after Mr. Walsh declared his client would not testify. "It contains a signed statement by Dr. Hyde, and in the light of his refusal to testify, I desire to ---"
Coroner Zwart again re-entered the arena. He motioned to Mr. Walsh and to Mr. Conkling. Mr. Conkling, his assistant, Mr. Jost, Coroner Zwart and his assistant, Mr. Trogdon, left the room. A conference of a couple of minutes followed, and when they returned Coroner Zwart declared taht he did not know just what this legal scrimmage had to do with an unsophisticated coroner, but that he wanted Dr. Hyde to testify.
"I hold that Dr. Hyde must be sworn to take the stand," said the coroner. The words were hardly out of his mouth when Mr. Walsh rose to reply.
"I stated before that on the advice of counsel, Dr. Hyde refuses to testify," he said.
Prosecutor Conkling again offered a suggestion. "The prosecutor asks the same rule apply here as with the rest of the witnesses."
"The coroner holds that the witness who is here must be sworn and then he may or may not testify as he chooses," declared Coroner Zwart.
"Notwithstanding the stand that has been taken by the coroner, and the prosecuting attorney," said Mr. Walsh, "and not intending any disrespect to the coroner, I will simply reiterate my statement that Dr. Hyde will not testify."
"If the witness does not desire to reply to certain questions which may be asked of him, he can refuse to do so under his constitutional rights," said Coroner Zwart.
"As I have said before, Dr. Hyde will not be sworn. That is final," said Attorney Walsh.
"That is sufficient for my purpose," almost shouted Prosecutor Conkling.
Coroner Zwart turned to the attorneys and remarked that he tried to afford them all of the courtesies that he could. The attorneys smiled and seemed satisfied.
THEN COMES THE VERDICT.
After testimony by Dr. Gayle as to the efficacy of strychnine as a poison, Coroner Zwart said to those in the courtroom:
"Does anyone present in this courtroom know anything as to the cause of the death of Colonel Swope?" There was an intense silence broken by a juror who asked that Mrs. Swope be recalled. Mr. Paxton escorted her to the witness chair from the seat on the garden bench she occupied the previous day. She was asked about the extra pay Miss Kellar received for attending Colonel Swope, adn said that this was talked over by the entire family, and it was their wish that Miss Kellar receive $35 instead of $25 a week. This she said was after the suggestion for the extra $10 a week had been made by Dr. Hyde.
As Mrs. Swope stepped from the witness chair, Coroner Zwart stepped forward. He told the jury that the evidence had been presented and that they were to retire and find a verdict. He handed them two legal forms for verdicts. The one that was used was added to by the jurors who were unable to decide as to the intent of Dr. Hyde in ordering the administration of the capsule which they said caused death.
Half an hour later the jury sent for Dr. Zwart. They wanted to know if they should insert the time and place of Colonel Swope's death on the verdict. He told them that they should, and a quarter of an hour later they reported.