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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Adams was convicted of murder, but wouldn’t get the hanging prosecutors wanted

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

A Spokane jury found fruit merchant Louis Adams guilty of murdering Joe Guaracio – but Adams would not be headed to the gallows.

The jury said he was guilty of second-degree murder, which meant he could be sentenced to prison from 10 years to life. The death penalty was an option only with a first-degree conviction.

Jurors later told reporters that some were in favor of a first-degree verdict, but they all agreed that there was some doubt as to premeditation in the killing of Guaracio, also sometimes spelled Gracio. The two men had been feuding for years as neighbors, but the shooting took place in what seemed to be a chance encounter at a produce warehouse.

Spokane’s Italian community had jammed the gallery throughout the trial. When the verdict was read, Adams “showed extreme nervousness,” but made no comment.

From the missing persons beat: Searchers moved tons of sand at the R.O. Camp sand pit near Corbin Park, looking for clues into the disappearance of William McLachlin, 8.

His family had feared he might have been buried in a sand slide at the pit, but searchers found no evidence. Searchers were now scouring the neighborhood, seeking other clues into the boy’s absence.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1796: President George Washington’s farewell address was published. In it, America’s first chief executive advised, “Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

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