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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago today: Conspiracy case against Ferry County sheriff goes to jury

Nov. 16, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:57 p.m.

Published in the Nov. 16, 1922 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (SR Archives)
Published in the Nov. 16, 1922 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (SR Archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The conspiracy case against Ferry County Sheriff Thomas Barker was in the hands of the jury, and court-watchers believed that the judge’s final instructions might aid the sheriff and four other Ferry County defendants.

First, the judge said that the sheriff was “not not on trial for failure to enforce Prohibition laws in Ferry County, but for the commission of a certain crime.” This was good news for sheriff, since he quite obviously had failed to enforce Prohibition laws. He was on trial for aiding and abetting rum-runners in one specific case.

The judge also told the jurors that “one accomplice does not corroborate another.” Every defendant’s testimony should be evaluated separately.

From the popcorn file: Two men reported that someone stole their overcoats from a rack at Union Station. One of the men told a Spokane detective that a package of popcorn was in his coat pocket at the time.

This gave the detective an idea. He searched the ground near the crime, and soon enough found popcorn scattered around. He then followed a popcorn trail for several blocks to the Barrington Court, a hotel on Sprague Avenue.

There, he found two men, both 21, wearing the stolen overcoats. He arrested both for larceny and booked them into jail.

Also on this day


1939: Al Capone is freed from Alcatraz jail in San Fransisco.

1973: U.S. President Richard Nixon authorizes construction of the Alaska pipeline, which today stretches 800 miles from Dead Horse to Valdez.

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