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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Mrs. Corbin tearfully begged her co-defendant to come clean in their arson trial

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives )

Anna Corbin, widow of a Spokane rail tycoon, took the stand in the arson trial of Louis Lilge, the caretaker of the Corbin home. He was accused of trying to burn down the landmark home and split the insurance money with Corbin.

Corbin surprised the courtroom gallery when she took the stand and immediately asked if she could address a few remarks to the defendant. The judge sent the jury out of the room and allowed Corbin to proceed.

“I want to say that if Lilge will speak the truth and nothing but the truth, he will never be sorry,” she said, bursting into tears. “What does it profit us if we gain the world and lose our own soul? Your father was a minister and he wanted you to do what was right. It will be the best thing for us.”

Then she turned to the judge and said, “I am through.”

In her on-the-record testimony, she admitted that she was charged with the same crime, but was testifying of her own free will and was given no promises by the prosecutor.

She was scheduled to continue testifying later.

From the bank robbery beat: Two men were arrested in Grandview, Washington, suspected of pulling off the daring Addy State Bank robbery.

They were said to fit the description perfectly, and both admitted that they had been in Addy the day before the robbery, looking for work. One of the men was said to have told his Grandview friends before leaving for Addy that he was “on a big deal and would return to his hometown with a roll of money.”

However, the Yakima County jail officers said they did not believe these men were guilty of the robbery. Both men adamantly denied it, and one was treating his arrest “as a joke.”

They were both being transported back to Stevens County. The clerk of the bank and his wife would soon be asked to identify the two men. The couple had been held by the unmasked robbers for eight hours.

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