May 10, 1916

Alleged "Black Mike" Gang Member is Convicted of Saloon Robbery.

A jury heard the testimony in the robbery case yesterday against John Lazia, a handsome young Italian who has been an associate of "Black Mike" McGovern and his gang, found Lazia guilty yesterday afternoon and sentenced him to fifteen years in the state penitentiary.

Lazia was tried on the charge of holding up the saloon of Herman Allman, 2512 East Fifteenth street, on the night of December 29, last year, in company with "Black Mike" and Tom Bosco, another member of the gang. Allman testified yesterday and identified Lazia as the first to enter the saloon and the one who removed a diamond shirt stud from the saloon keeper's shirt front.
Officers were on the witness stand and also the chauffeur who drove a motor car to near the scene of the hold-up and who identified Lazia as one of the three men he took to that place and also away from the saloon.

Lazia has influential Italian friends and they have given bonds totaling $7,000 on two charges against him. He was in the Wyandotte county, Kansas, jail on another charge when released and brought to the Missouri side for trial. It is probable that his case will be appealed.

The court room was filled yesterday with friends of Lazia, but there was no demonstration on their part. A generous supply of deputy marshals also was in court on account of an attempt at jail delivery which the county officers say the "Black Mike" gang made recently, and also on account of the reported attempts being contemplated by friends on the outside to storm the jail and free Lazia.

Owing to the number of Lazia's friends around the courthouse some of the jurors hesitated about attempting to leave the building after the verdict. They finally decided, however, to go out in a body. No attention was paid to the jurors by those outside.