Two of the prisoners who staged a notorious jailbreak in Pendleton, Oregon, a month earlier were Spokane men, age 19 and 20, using assumed names. Now, Elvin Leroy Stoop and Floyd Henderson were facing murder charges in Pendleton because the local sheriff was shot and killed by another escapee during the jailbreak.
Spokane attorney Joseph Lavin was in Pendleton defending the two. He told their version of the story to the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
The young men left Spokane seeking adventure in the spring and ran out of money in Umatilla, Oregon. After cashing a bad check, they were arrested in The Dalles, Oregon, and brought back to jail in Pendleton, where they gave false names.
They had only a few more days to serve at the time of the jailbreak, but they made the mistake of participating in the escape plot hatched by three other inmates.
After those inmates shot the sheriff, they let Stoop and Henderson out of their cells. Stoop and Henderson separated from the other escapees and “wandered for a number of days until, half-starved, they surrendered to some sheepherders.”
The angry deputies at Pendleton grilled them with “third-degree methods” and told them that they would turn them over to the vengeful mobs outside the jail.
They were charged with first-degree murder, but Lavin said he did not believe they would be convicted since they neither planned nor participated in the sheriff’s shooting.
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1963: Author, journalist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois died in Accra, Ghana, at age 95.
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