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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Defense makes its case in sensational Codd murder trial

April 12, 2022 Updated Wed., April 13, 2022 at 2:54 a.m.

By Jim Kershner For The Spokesman-Review

The defense finally laid out its case in the sensational Maurice P. Codd murder trial, and it consisted of three key points:

  • That Fort Wright soldier Frank P. Brinton attacked Codd, not the other way around.
  • That Brinton swung wildly at Codd, lost his balance and accidentally fell over the railing to his death.
  • And that witnesses for the prosecution had been paid to testify against Codd.

The defense also said it would prove that “Codd did everything in his power to avoid trouble.”

Mrs. Rose Fagin, a woman who lived on the fourth floor, two floors above the fight, said she heard the commotion and witnessed Brinton take a swing at Codd. Then he “became over-balanced” and fell to his death. She testified she was certain that Codd did not throw Brinton over the railing.

Mrs. E.J. Williams, another tenant of the Granite Building, also delivered sensational testimony for the defense. She claimed she saw the Granite landlady removing liquor bottles from Brinton’s room after the fight and hide them behind a radiator. Mrs. Williams retrieved the bottles, which were produced and entered as evidence.

Another witness testified that Officer C.E. Wagner, one of the prosecution witnesses, told her “he could have saved Brinton had he not been hiding when the affair occurred.”

The implication was that Wagner was hiding until he could find a reason to arrest Codd.

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