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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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This day in history: Corbin defense in disarray as arson trial looms

From the June 8, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
From the June 8, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Anna Corbin, widow of local tycoon D.C. Corbin, told reporters that she had no intention of repudiating her confession at her upcoming trial for first-degree arson.

After a fire badly damaged her landmark Spokane home, she confessed that she and her caretaker, Louis E. Lilge, plotted to burn her house down for the insurance money. Both were charged with arson.

Her defense team was in disarray a week before the start of the trial. Her attorneys withdrew from the case in a surprise move, and so did Lilge’s attorneys. This led to speculation that Corbin was planning to repudiate her confession and not testify against Lilge.

Now Corbin was denying these reports. She said she would in fact take the stand and testify against Lilge.

She had not appointed a new attorney, but Lilge hired the firm of Groff and Davis. They were expected to ask for a postponement of the trial.

“This case is one of the largest tried in Spokane County, and I will need more time to prepare a defense,” said attorney Guy Groff.

Also from the court beat: A judge increased the bond for Fay McDonald, one of Spokane’s notorious McDonald siblings, from $2,000 to $3,000.

The judge was clearly concerned that Fay had fled the jurisdiction, just as her sister Marie McDonald had done earlier.

The judge warned that he would declare her a fugitive if she failed to show up for a hearing scheduled in a few days. Both McDonald sisters were acquitted of murder but convicted on a forgery charge stemming from the murder.

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