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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: New charges in Codd/Brinton murder case indicate new trial imminent

Spokane County Prosecutor W.C. Meyer brought charges against 16 people who were attorneys or witnesses in the Codd murder trial on the belief that testimony had been falsified.  (S-R archives)
Spokane County Prosecutor W.C. Meyer brought charges against 16 people who were attorneys or witnesses in the Codd murder trial on the belief that testimony had been falsified. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The notorious Maurice Codd-Frank Brinton murder case took a sensational turn when County Prosecutor W.C. Meyer filed charges against 16 people – all of them either attorneys or witnesses in the Codd murder trial.

They were all charged with subornation of perjury and conspiracy to commit a crime. Of those 16, 11 were already under arrest, and five more were being sought. One of those being sought was Codd himself.

“Your honor, we are doing everything possible to locate Maurice Codd,” said his attorney, Reuben Crandell. “As soon as he is located, we will have him return to Spokane and will post bond.”

The sheriff expressed skepticism about this, saying that he had heard conflicting stories about Codd’s whereabouts from attorney George Crandell, also under arrest, the brother of Reuben Crandell.

“George Crandell told me that Maurice Codd was in China,” said the sheriff. “He also told me he could deliver Codd here Thursday if necessary.”

These charges made it abundantly clear that Meyer believed that Codd’s acquittal was obtained through false testimony and underhanded deals made between witnesses and Codd’s attorneys.

The defendants were accused of willfully and corruptly “attempting to persuade, bribe, coerce and otherwise attempt” to secure false testimony from witnesses at the trial. One witness, Beatrice Sant, had allegedly already confessed that she did not actually witness the events she testified about.

These arrests set the stage for round two in one of the most sensational murder cases in Spokane’s history. This time, the courts would be asked to decide if the results of round one were tainted beyond credibility.

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