A Spokane jury took only 20 minutes to acquit Ray English of manslaughter in the death of pedestrian A.D. Allison.
The verdict seemed to definitively answer the question: Who was driving the car, Roger Bartelt or Ray English? The deputy prosecutor declared “the verdict closes the case and that Roger Bartelt must serve at the reformatory until the parole board frees him.” That meant as long as 10 years.
The case hinged on the see-saw testimony of the two teenage girls who were passengers in the car. At first, the two girls – along with the two boys – claimed that Bartelt was driving the car. However, after the Allison family sued the Bartelt family, the two girls changed their story and said that they had all agreed to lie about the accident, and that English had actually been driving the car.
“I believed the story told by the girls about the accident,” said the deputy prosecutor.
But he admitted English, on the witness stand, had “told a straight story today and the jury evidently accepted his version as the true one.”
Bartelt, who had testified in the trial, was sent back to Monroe to serve the remainder of his sentence.
From the Prohibition beat: Police believed R.R. Cole, the proprietor of the Great Northern Hotel on Trent Avenue, had been “disguising himself as a woman as an aid in his business” – that business being bootlegging and narcotics trafficking.
“Three wigs, all of different colors, with clothing which might easily fit a person of Cole’s stature, were found in the room,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
Police also found narcotics and hypodermic needles when they raided the hotel. Neither the police nor the newspaper explained exactly how dressing like a woman would aid his bootlegging and narcotics business.
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