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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago: Co-defendants in bootlegging case against Ferry County sheriff repudiate earlier statements

Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker and two other Ferry County men were on trial for aiding and abetting bootleggers, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 15, 1922.  (Spokesman-Review archives)
Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker and two other Ferry County men were on trial for aiding and abetting bootleggers, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Nov. 15, 1922. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Two sensational trials were dominating the news in Spokane.

The first was the trial of Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker and two other Ferry County men for aiding and abetting bootleggers. In a major development, Barker’s two co-defendants repudiated their written statements made at the time of their arrests.

One of them said in his written statement that he brought hay from the barn to his transfer house in order to pack whisky in some trunks. On the stand, he said he brought in hay for the men to sleep on.

He further said that he was misquoted by federal Prohibition agents when he said in the statement that he “got into this mess knowing that I was dealing in whisky.” He said what he actually said was he “got into this mess not knowing that I was hauling whisky.”

He said he made the written statement only after the Prohibition agent told him he wouldn’t make bond otherwise.

In the second sensational trial, 15 people were charged with suborning perjury or lying on the stand in order to get an acquittal in the controversial Maurice Codd murder trial.

On the trial’s opening day, Codd’s attorneys filed a motion for dismissal of the charges against him. A ruling on that question had not yet been made.

The charges were brought after one of Codd’s star defense witnesses, Beatrice Sant, allegedly confessed that she lied about what she supposedly saw at the murder site. She testified in trial that Frank Brinton “fell” over the railing to his death, as opposed to be being thrown to his death by Codd. She later admitted that she was not even there to see anything.

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