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JOHN L. TAYLOR MURDER TRIAL

Transcribed by Cindy Logan

 

 
Aspen Daily Times, Sunday, July 28, 1907 (Page 1) 
INQUEST IS COMPLETED
 
CORONER'S JURY IN SESSION FOR MANY HOURS
 
Sensational Letters Given to Jury But Not Read Publicly
 
The jury after being out for eight hours, finally returned a sealed verdict
 
One of the largest crowds ever in attendance in local courts was present yesterday afternoon at the city hall, where the coroner's inquest into the death of Mrs. J. L Taylor was in progress.
 
District Attorney Gentry arrived in the city in time to take charge of the case in behalf of the relatives of Mrs. Taylor.
 
Before proceeding with the inquest the district attorney asked Judge Sanders, sitting as a justice of the peace, for leave to amend the complaint filed against John L. Taylor charging him with assault so as to read "did then and there unlawfully and with malice aforethought kill and murder the aforesaid Lillie May Taylor." The motion was granted.
 
The inquest proper then began, the district attorney explaining to the jurors and spectators, at the request of the deputy coroner, that the proceeding was simply a coroner's inquest and that there was no defendant present and in there would be no defense as no one was on trial
 
The first witness was J. W. Allen, superintendent of the mines at Coal Basin.  He told his story much more fully than when first examined.  With the exception of Taylor he was the first one to reach the scene after the shooting.  He says he asked how it happened and Taylor said the girl had been out target shooting and accidentally shot herself.  Later Allen testified that he had heard the target shooting but that it was some time before the shot which ended Mrs. Taylor's life.  he testified that he was attracted to Taylor;s house both by the sounds of the shot and hearing some one calling as if in distress when he first began his investigation of the shooting.
 
Mrs. Dora Palmer of Carbondale, became acquainted with the Taylor's last winter.  She saw Taylor in the latter part of last May when he was on his way to Aspen from Coal Basin.  he told her he had sent his wife a ticket but when hadn't come to him and he believed there was something wrong  if came to Aspen and found her with another man he would kill them both.  This statement was made to Mrs. Palmer in the presence of her two little girls and a neighbor.  He also told her that Mrs. Taylor and her relatives were not on speaking terms.
 
W. N. Van Winkle, of Restone, roadmaster for the Crystal River Railroad company, told of the trip to Coal Basin with the coroner and of the examination of witnesses there.  he conferred with the coroner and told him that he did not believe and inquest was necessary.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Wednesday, July 31, 1907 (page 1)
ONE MORE DAY MAY
 
End Preliminary Trial of John L. Taylor
 
Prosecution Rests and Defense Should Finish Today
 
 
The second day's session of the preliminary trial of John L. Taylor, charged with the murder of his decease wife, began yesterday morning at 10 o'clock.
 
Mr. and Mrs. Gus Thoberg were called in succession and repeated the testimony given by them at the coroner's inquest.
 
Judge Rogers of the County Court corroborated the testimony previously given relating to the visit of Mrs. Taylor and Rose McMahon to his office having Mr. Taylor put under peace bonds.
 
Sheriff James Begley told again he knew about the case.  He warned his wife not to have anything to do with the Taylors as he did not want to be mixed up in their troubles.
 
Robert Hull repeated his evidence as given to the coroner's jury, laying stress on the fact that when Mrs. Taylor left Aspen for Coal Basin she had stated to the Hulls that she was going to her death bed.  He added that another person whom he believed to be George Thomas, had heard the young wife make this statement.
 
The prosecution here rested it's case.  After a brief argument Judge Rucker succeeded in having his client sworn for the purpose of identifying certain handwritings, with the understanding that he might be recalled later.  The followed a tedious hour while the defendant re read a large number of letters and glanced over lengthy statements, identifying each one.  Letters which have caused much comment because they were apparently lost, were introduced and offered in evidence just before the noon recess.  They are supposed to have been written to Mrs. Taylor by her husband during March, April and May of this year.
 
The defendant was again put on the stand when court convened in the afternoon.  He was shown a diary which he stated he had purchased for his wife about January 1, 1907.
 
The district attorney then began a cross examination which lasted over an hour, during which time the defendant was again asked to identify certain exhibits.  Mr. Gentry endeavored to learn just when and where the so called "death statements" and "life sketch" had been found after the tragedy but was unsuccessful.  The defendant stated that from the time of his marriage he had endeavored to improve his wife's handwriting; sometimes she wrote much better than at other times when she took pains she was able to write very nicely and at the same time with much speed.  The witness, also, failed to adhere to one style of penmanship during the past few years.  Occasionally finding it agreeable to demonstrate his ability at either vertical, back handed or other popular forms of chirography.  Judge Rucker was unable to control his client, who insisted in replying at wearisome lengths to the more or less, principally more, simple questions of Mr. Gentry.  Altogether, the witness did not fare as well as he might have done had he obeyed the instructions of his attorney.
 
Mrs. J. M. Johnson sister of the defendant proved to be a good witness for the latter.  She gave her testimony in a quiet, friendly manner, as if she bore no malice towards anyone.  She identified letters written to her recently by Mrs. Taylor referring to a proposed visit to Missouri relatives, the couple intending to come August 15, 1907.  She denied the truth of Mrs. Palmer's testimony regarding what her brother said about being asleep at the time of the shooting.
 
Mrs. McVail a stanch friend of the defendant told again of the statement made by Mrs. Taylor last May to the effect that she would kill herself if her husband did not do it for her.  The witness stated that she had been an intimate friend of the dead woman and had never heard her speak of Mr. Taylor other than in words of love and kindness.  Judge Rucker endeavored to bring out the fact that the deceased had been familiar with firearms and Mrs. McVail testified that with small caliber rifles Mrs. Taylor was an expert shot.
 
Court the adjourned until 11 o'clock this morning.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Thursday, August 1, 1907 (page 2) 
DEFENDANT TESTIFIES
    
Examination of J. L Taylor Proves Interesting
 
Local Experts Are Called to Identify the Handwritings
 
 
A- Three witness were called by the defense in the preliminary trial of J. L Taylor, charged with the murder of his wife, when court convened yesterday morning.  They were:
Mrs. H. Koby, Jennie Adair and W. Houston.  The deceased was employed for a time by Mrs. Kobey and Mrs. Adair and these two witnesses never heard her speak of her husband as if she feared him or ever bad trouble with him.  Houston also knew the couple but knew of no ill feelings between them at any time.
 
John L. Taylor was called to the stand in his own defense but before any questions were asked court took a recess until 2 o'clock.
 
The Afternoon Session:
 
Taylor then told of his marriage in Salt Lake, his warning his bride that she must "cut out" her relatives if she expected to live with him, and his conduct towards her.  After he went to Coal Basin last March his wife wrote to him every other day and he replied at irregular intervals.  He instructed her to sell most of their household furniture and the horse and go to Coal Basin.  He sent her a railroad ticket and had it extended, but she remained in Aspen.
 
He sent transportation again and for some reason she did not leave.  About this time, becoming angered, the defendant wrote to his wife, and this letter, mailed May 18, 1907 was the last time he ever wrote her she hadn't treated him right, that he believed something was in the wind and so then informing her that she could go her way and he would go his.  he left for Aspen May 28, not to see his wife, but to get certain personal effects.  he arrived about 11 p. m. and went to his former home at 940 West Hopkins Street, which he found unprohibited.  Proceeding up town he had two or three drinks and became much excited after realizing that his wife had done as he requested and gone her way." without leaving her address behind.  He met Officer Murphy, Will Thomas and "Shad" Sheeban,  called on local newspaper editors and had conversations with them all, but could not say whether or not he had made the statements alleged by the witness.
 
The following morning he learned where his wife was working and called on her immediately.  He had concluded to talk to his wife like a man, he said, and very politely he informed her that he was going to get a divorce.  She replied that if such was his intention, she would not live three days.  Her described the details, as previously testified to, leading up to the threat of his wife on evening at McVail's, where she threatened to shoot her self.  Late that same evening he and his wife were at McVail's, the defendant yielded to his wife's persuasion and took a walk with her.  They reached the cemetery about 11 p .m. and remained there until time for the ghosts go walk.  They then walked to the race track.  All this time his wife was coaxing him to "make up" and take her back insisting that she would live not longer than three or four days in the event of his refusal.  In this trying state of Mind he finally concluded to oblige her, saying at the same time that he would never have the same lover for her.
 
They left on the evening of Decoration Day for Coal Basin and from that time to the day of his wife's death he was always most king to her.  Mrs. Taylor however, began boarding and often expressed a desire to come back to Aspen to send to the happy hunting grounds certain persons who had done her much harm.  On the 18th of July the defendant was awakened at 9:00 a. m. by his wife. Some boys with smokeless cartridges wanted to borrow his rifle and he got up and fired a few shots to see if the weapon was suitable for that style of cartilage.  Three revolvers were in the house at the time, two "thirty-eights" and one "forty five."  His wife challenged him to fire at targets and they took two of the revolvers and went up back of the revolvers and went back of the house a short distance and fired at a target.  On returning, they fired several shots from the back door and then the defendant put the empty revolver in a baby buggy.  He again fell asleep and was not awakened until between 1 and 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  He said to his wife "I want to be shaved this morning, old woman." and she dutifully went into the pantry to procure his shaving outfit.  The time check episode was the declared which has already been printed several times.
 
While he was still searching for the missing check his wife left the house and he immediately heard the shot.  Mr. Allen soon reached the scene and as Taylor started to lift his wife's body, he saw the revolver lying under her left side.  Blood was gushing from her mouth and ears.
 
He had never heard of the letters written to Mrs. Brew at Buena Vista and his wife never been compelled to "do nothing."  He first learned some time after their child was born and she told him the details voluntarily.  He kissed her and proceeded to treat her better than ever, however some time last June he made up his mind to separate from his wife and he promised to send her to Missouri on a visit, intending when she was absent to seek new place some where -------------where she could not fined him.
 
 
Cross-Examination:
 
The district attorney then began a long and vigorous cross examination which was far from being completed when court took a recess.  he took the defendant over the ground from the time of his marriage until he was arrested recently.  The most important admission, probably, which he obtained from the witness was that at one time in either June or July Taylor contemplated taking his wife before a lawyer or notary and have her make a statement which, if she fulfilled her determination to commit suicide, would clear him.  It will remembered by those being in the trial that an alleged death statement, which the defendant swears he knows nothing about is what the defense is said to be relying upon to free Mr. Taylor.  The witness found it impossible to answer a question briefly and his attorney and even the court requested him repeatedly to answer the district attorney properly.
 
The witness stated that when he left Coal Basin for Aspen last May he had concluded that he was "done with her forever," but after arriving her he had it in his heart to kill his wife if he found her with another man.  The reason he stayed at the cemetery so long with his wife the night he took the walk with her, was because they had so much to talk about.  he talked like a gentlemen to her "because it seemed to hurt even more" and in a kind way told her that she had been untrue to him and that he could never live with her again.  he denied the story told by Mrs. Galligan.  He stated that he never drew a gun on his wife at any time" if I ever draw a gun it will smoke."  He did not shoot inside the house the day before the baby was born.  He did not approve of his wife associating with her relatives or her neighbors, he did not consider them "appropriate" company.  While in Coal Basin he received anonymous letters in various handwritings, which he believed were written by the Hulls and Thobergs, warning him that his wife was not living properly.
 
A recess was then taken until 9 o'clock this morning.  The letters and statements offered in evidence are being care full examined.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, August 4, 1907 (page 2) 
TAYLOR IS BOUND OVER
 
Remanded to the Custody of the Coroner
Decision of Justice Sanders Meets With General Approval
 
The preliminary trial of John L. Taylor, charged with having murdered his wife at Coal Basin July 19, 1907, which has been in progress since last Monday, was completed at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon.  The fact was generally known that the attorneys would make their closing arguments, during which Judge Rucker was expected to read certain documents though to be very sensational, and resulted in a crowded court room.
 
Those morbidly inclined who expected to listen to several hours of salacious evidence when the counsel for the defense was arguing, were, for the most part disappointed.
 
Judge Rucker was forced to open the proceedings, the district attorney simply asking the court that the defendant be held to the next term of the district court.  The defense relied on the exhibits of letters and the statement to The Times to prove that Mrs. Taylor committed suicide while insane.  The pencil sketch, alleged by the defense to have been written by the deceased, who then carefully copied it with pen and ink and called it a "Death" statement, was ruled out, the court remarking that it had not been sufficiently identified.
 
The defendant attorney began by taking up Mrs. Taylor's letters one by one and reading them aloud, occasionally omitting a sentence which he did not want the public to hear, and endeavoring to show that the couple were on the best of terms.  The several letters were of a pathetic tenor, indicating that the woman loved her husband with her whole heart, or , as the attorney said, "just such letters as a loving wife would write to an affectionate husband."  They were written in March, April, May, June and July.  Some of Taylor's letters were also read, most of the showing that he missed his missed his wife and wanted her to go to him at Coal Basin as soon as possible.  In some of them he found considerable fault with the young woman for the manner in which she sold the house hold furniture, probably expecting her to have the ability in that line of an experienced business man.  The statement to The Times was then taken up, but only a small part of the fifty two pages was read.  This document was described by Judge Rucker as the most heart rending letter he had ever heard of, one with which Evelyn Nesbit Thaw's world famous confession could not be compared.  The statement began with the terrible story of the girl's ruin at the tender age of 11 years at the hands to the notorious Nick Egan and close with threats to come to Aspen and kill those responsible for her ruin and for the loss of her husband's love.
 
The attorney was careful to state that he did not for a moment wish to convey the impression that he believed the whole document was made up of truthful statements; who considered it the imaginings of a crazy brain and certainly no normal mind ever composed such dreadful and extraordinary letter.  He closed by asking the court to discharge his client; stating that there had been no direct evidence introduced at anytime, nothing but suspicion and the testimony of people mentioned in the dying statement.  Judge Rucker spoke for an hour and a half, omitting not a detail which might aid in freeing the defendant.  His address was considered remarkable.
 
District Attorney Gentry replied briefly.  He called attention to scope of Mysterious circumstance surrounding the case; Taylor man threats to kill his child wife; the way he spoke of her after her body had been laid to rest; his evasive answers on the witness stand; the possession of letters were all in his favor and the absence of important documents which were otherwise; the defendant's maniacal jealousy and his cruel and inhuman treatment to the little girl he had promised to love and honor until death they do part.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Wednesday, December 11, 1907 (page 2) 
JUDGE SHUMATE GOES TO  GLENWOOD SPRINGS
 
The Term of Court to Begin Here Early in January-Taylor case to be Tried Then
 
Judge Shumate went to Glenwood Springs last night to finish the term of court there before the holidays, it is possible for him to do so.  There are man cases to be tried and the judge said last night that he may not complete the business until after the holidays.  Judge Shumate open court here early in January.  The John Taylor murder case will be set for trial then.  Taylor is accused of the murder of his wife in Coal Basin last July and the case is familiar to everyone here.  That is the most important criminal case that will be tried at the coming term.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Friday, January 17, 1908 (page 2)

TAYLOR MURDER TRIAL SCHEDULED FOR TODAY

Almost six months to a day since the commission of the alleged crime and John L. Taylor will be called up on to stand trial in the district court for the murder of his wife.  The case will be called for trial in the district for the murder of his wife.  The case will be called for trial in the district court this morning.  That element of the public which seems to delight in sensational cases has been awaiting the trial with feverish interest, for the Taylor case contains every element calculated to attract public attention.
 
One the morning of July 19, 1907 at Coal Basin, Colorado where the Taylor family had been residing for two months after their departure from Aspen, Mrs. May Taylor was found dead on the porch of her home, shot in the mouth, it was reported at that time by her own hand.
 
The coroner at Aspen was notified and at once went to the scene of the tragedy, and the body of the dead woman brought back to her former home in Aspen and preparations made for the burial.  In the mean time, rumors to the effect that Mrs. Taylor had not committed suicide, as was first reported, reached this city from the coal camp, and as a result the coroner again took up the case to investigate further.  On the afternoon immediately before the funeral, which was held in this city, two doctors were sent by the coroner to examine the body and determine if possible whether the wound which caused the death of Mrs. Taylor was self inflicted or whether as the rumors stated.  on arriving at the house it is said the doctors were denied an examination of the body; however, the funeral was held as had been previously arranged.
 
A coroner's jury was at once impaneled and preparations made to probe the now mysterious affair to the bottom.  That night Taylor was arrested and placed in the city jail, Taylor claming that his life would be in danger in the charge of Sheriff James Begley at the county jail, the sheriff's wife being a half-sister of the dead woman.
 
The investigations of the coroner's jury was begun July 23, 1907.  The body of Mrs. Taylor was exhumed and the wound thoroughly examined by Surgeons Twining, Guthrie and Judkins, who found that the bullet which cause death had entered the woman's head through the mouth and had lodged at the base of her brain.  Powder burns were found on the tongue and in mouth and the throat.  They primary cause of the exhuming of the body was because an ugly rumor had been freely circulated which charged that the woman had been shot through the back of the head.  No point of exit was disclosed by the post-mortem examination and the dissecting surgeons gave as their unanimous opinion that death was caused from a bullet fired through the mouth and which lodged at the base of the brain.  The exhibits at the inquest included a "death statement," claimed to have been written by Mrs. Taylor previous to her death, which said to be very sensational in character, but which was not admitted in the evidence.  Many Coal Basin and local witnesses were on the stand during the inquest; relatives and friends of the dead woman working strenuously to prove that her death was not a case of suicide.  Six witnesses were put on the stand to prove that Taylor had forced his wife to write letters at different times at the point of a revolver.  Others testified to hearing Taylor threaten to kill his wife.  The threats were made during a visit in this city two month previous to the alleged murder.  The investigation by the coroner's inquest covered a period of five days and the jury, after eight hours deliberation, returned a verdict which recommended a further investigation of the case.
 
July 29, 1907 Taylor's primarily hearing was commenced District Attorney Gentry having been summoned from his home at Meeker to take charge.  Additional witnesses were summoned.  Among the exhibits at the hearing were a number of letters claimed to have been written by Mrs. Taylor and which dealt more or less with the marital happiness and unhappiness of the couple during their residence at Coal Basin and Aspen.  Theses letters, it was claimed by relatives, had not been written by Mrs. Taylor, but were in the hand writing of John L. Taylor.  Hand writing experts were called and made an examination of the letters.  The experts gave as their opinion that the letters were undoubted written by Mrs. Taylor, although there was a great similarity in the chirognomy of the husband and wife,.  The voluminous document which contained fifty two pages closely written, was used in open court and the morbidly inclined were once more greatly disappointed.  The document was examined by the jurors only.  The contents of this so called death statement are said to be very sensational in character and it was described during the hearing by Judge Thomas A. Rucker, attorney for defendant, as most heart rending; one with which the world famous confession of Evelyn Nesbit Thow, when she bared the innermost secrets of her soul to the jury in the Thaw case, could not be compared.  The statement covers a period of ten years of her life and closed with the threat to come to Aspen and call to account those responsible for her husbands love.
 
Attorney Rucker was unable to control his client during the cross examination and many times Taylor contradicted his testimony given at the coroner's inquest.
 
Taylor's story of the death of his wife was to the effect that he had arose from bed on the morning of the tragedy to try some smokeless cartridges in a rifle which two boys wished to borrow from him and had shot at a target in the back yard a number of times.  During the shooting his wife, who was a skilled revolver shot, challenged him to a contest with pistols and that he had accepted, both shooting at a target numerous times after which Taylor went back to bed to get his customary sleep, having worked night shift in one of the coal mines.  He said his wife appeared in the best spirits that morning and seemed content with the world.  Perhaps thirty minutes after the target shooting Taylor said he was startled by the report of a revolver in the vicinity of the front porch of his home and immediately went to where the sound came from and found his wife shot through the mouth and lying in a pool of blood with the smoking revolver in her hand.  The body, he stated, was taken into the house and placed on a bed and the coroner notified.
 
Sheriff James Begley, who made an investigation of the Taylor house soon after the shooting, stated that he had found human blood splotches in every room in the house.  J. W. Allen a mine official at Coal Basin, while on the stand, testified that he had heard two people, apparently a man and boy, talking loudly in the Taylor home just previous to the shot which ended the life of Mrs. Taylor and that he surmised a quarrel was in progress.
 
In his closing argument previous to the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Attorney Gentry charged Taylor with having rammed the barrel of the revolver down the throat of his 105 pound wife and fired.  The hearing ended August 4 and resulted in Taylor being held to answer by the jury.  His bond was placed at $3,000, which he was unable to furnish.  Taylor soon afterward was taken to Glenwood Spring and placed in the Garfield County jail.  he was later returned to Aspen and confined in the city jail.
 
Mrs. Taylor was no more that a mere girl, being but twenty one years of age.  She was married to Taylor in 1904 in Salt Lake City.  Taylor is perhaps fifty years of age and is known locally as an athlete.  One child now two and on half years old was born to the couple.
 
It was common talk by neighbors that their married life was not always happy and that Taylor had threatened her more than once.  it is said that Taylor one night fired a revolver in the Taylor home which so frightened Mrs. Taylor that a baby was born prematurely to her.  Taylor is also said to have flourished a revolver and run his wife out of doors and down the street attired only in a nightdress.
 
Mrs. Taylor has a number of relatives in this city who will endeavor to secure the conviction of the accused husband.  Mrs. E. T. Kline mother of Mrs. Taylor, resides at Florence.
 
Taylor has one sister here, Mrs. Robert Johnstone, and she has remained more than loyal to him.
 
The Taylor case has attracted locally and throughout Colorado and with the conclusion of the trial that will commence today one of the most mysterious suicides or murders, whichever the trial will prove the cause of the death of Mrs. Taylor to have been, that has ever occurred in this section of the state will be cleared.  it is thought that the case will consume at least two weeks.  About 100 witnesses will be called, the greater number of which will testify for the prosecution.
 
Judge Thomas A. Rucker is the attorney for the defendant. Prosecuting Attorney J. C. Gentry, of Meeker will be in attendance; Judge John T. Shumate presiding.
 
 
 
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Aspen Democrat, Thursday, January 23, 1908 (page 1) 
FIFTH DAY OF THE TAYLOR TRIAL
 
 
Forty Minutes After the Opening Of The District Court Yesterday Morning Jury Was Completed
 
 
Prosecution And Defense Addressed The Jury On What They Expected To Show
 
 
Allen and William A. Barber Testify For The Prosecution
 
 
Thirty minutes after opening of the district court yesterday morning and the resumption of the Taylor murder trial, the------ was completed. There was one vacant seat in the box, and was filled by W. W. Williams, the first talesman examined. The ----- then exercised the right of -------time. Mike Lynch, the next talesman examined, proved to be satisfactory and both sides announced themselves as satisfied, and the jury was sworn in.
 
The court room was well filled, many of the persons in attendance however being witnesses. Sheriff Begley was on hand and ----------- acted as court officer.
 
At the afternoon session, every seat in the large court room was taken and there were people standing in the aisles. The door it was crowded six or eight deep. Close attention was paid and there were no disturbances from the audience.
 
Twice during the day Judge Shumate excluded children under the age of 16 unless they were present as witnesses. A the afternoon secession Taylor's little 3 year old boy, a son of the dead woman was present. The little fellow's voice could be heard prattling merrily then came a lull in the proceedings. He became restless, the session progressed and was taken out by the woman who was in his charge.
 
Court opened promptly at 10 o'clock in the morning. Taylor arrived some time before, and was followed in there after by his sister, Mrs. ---------
 
Jurors and the their occupation follows:
 
Williams, rancher, Snow Mass.
Osgood, rancher, Sopria Creek
Roberts, rancher, Snow Mass
Sterner, dairyman, Alaroon Creek
Odell, miner, Aspen
Gavin, rancher, Woody Creek
T. H. Carter, logger, Aspen
Alex Scott, rancher, Woody Creek
Geo. Harris, carpenter, Aspen
Mike Lynch, freighter, Aspen
 
 
The district attorney occupied about thirty minutes in opening the case. He promised proof of numerous threats by Taylor that he would kill his wife. On one occasion he would prove she was seen running several blocks down the street from their home, only partly dressed and crying that Taylor had threatened to kill her. He said he would produce a witness who would swear to having seen Taylor come out of the house at Coal Basin on the day of Mrs. Taylor's death, carrying the body of his wife which he laid on the porch and straightened out and then return to the house before calling for help.
 
 
Judge Rucker, for the defense, then addressed the jury. He said ordinarily he would wait until the prosecution had closed before speaking. On the statement made by the district attorney he would say that Taylor was guilty, but there were things to be said for Taylor which he wished to state to the jury before they heard the testimony. It was true that the woman had once run down the street as described by the district attorney, but it was not because of any threat made by Taylor. It was true that Taylor had made certain threats but these threats were that if he found his wife in bed with another man, he would kill the man and the woman. Judge Rucker referred to the documents which purport to be a confession of the dead woman, and promised to introduce them, and would show that she had long contemplated suicide. He would show from letters that the two had been happy together, and that she labored under the conviction that her husband's love had changed; that there was nothing for her to live for, and that after carrying out plans to kill ten or fifteen people who she mentioned in theses letters as instrumental in her downfall, she intended to kill herself... As Judge Rucker was concluding his address the district attorney objected that counsel was arguing his case, and Judge Rucker, turning to him said; 'You are sworn to do justice to this defendant as well as the people" and with a few more words, completed his address.
 
 
Charles Moore and Al Wilbur were sworn in as bailiffs and Judge Shumate very emphatically warned the jury that they must remain absolutely incommunicado. Court then took a recess until 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
 
 
At the afternoon session the taking of testimony commenced.
 
J. W. Allen, of Coal Basin, was sworn as a witness, but before the district attorney began his examination of Allen, Judge Rucker made a demand upon Mr. Gentry for the production of Allen's testimony at the coroner's inquest, which he was informed had been given to the district attorney by the acting coroner, Justice Sanders. Mr. Gentry stated that the document hand him by Mr. Sanders was an unsigned and unsworn statement, which he took to be merely a syllabus of the testimony. He though he had brought it with him, but could not find it. Judge Rucker stated that he did not wish to imply that he thought the district attorney was trying to keep it from him; he only desire it for use in cross examinations.
 
Judge Shumate ruled that the document was not necessary as there were other means to ascertain the testimony. Later on the clerk of the court located the official report of the coroner's inquest and this was handed to Judge Rucker.
 
Allen, on being examined, said he was superintendent for the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company at Coal Basin. He was sitting in his house, about 160 feet away from Taylor's and across the street, reading a paper, when he heard a shot fired. Thought it was some boys shooting with a revolver. Some time later, about five minutes he thought, he went to the door and then heard cries of distress. he looked up and down the street, including the porch of the Taylor house, and no one, and then went around to the back of his own house. There was a trip of cars on the tram at the mines and he thought someone there might be hurt. Saw nothing, and on his way back to the front, met Mrs. Dewey, his mother-in-law, who told him Mrs.Taylor was hurt. He then went to the front of his house, and saw Taylor standinding in the door of the latters house, and Mrs. Taylor lying on thepo porch. Taylor called to him to come and assist. He went up and asked Taylor what had happened, Taylor told him that she had been target shooting and had accidentally killed herself. Taylor was standing at her left side, in the doorway, and asked him where the gun was. They both looked around for it, and Taylor then stooped down and reached under his wife's body and drew out the gun. There was a step down of from four to six inches from door to floor of the porch.
 
 
Witness did not see exactly where the gun was lying except that it was on the left side, he did not see it until Taylor had picked it up and handed it to him. Taylor appeared to be greatly distressed and excited, told him that they had a little fuss over a pay check; that he had spoken a little harsh to her, but did not think he had hurt her feeling so much that she would do what she did. William Barber and a man named Coon, joined them, and they carried the body into the house and laid it on the bed. Her mouth was badly torn and she was bleeding from the wound.
 
He did not notice anything wrong with her face from the mouth up. The body lay straight on the porch, and the gun lay somewhere near the middle of the body. When Taylor gave him the gun, which was a five chamber revolver, he found four loads in it, and one empty shell. He emptied all the chambers and put the gun on the table in the house.
 
At this point a revolver was produced and Taylor admitted it was the gun or one like it. The witness made the same statement and the weapon was offered for identification. After laying of the body on the bed the witness with others looked over the house. It looked as if someone had been hunting around. There were several open boxes of matches and a can of tooth picks, and a small quality of potatoes and a chunk of bacon on the floor. Taylor called for saltpeter and ice, which he wanted to preserve the body. Allen then went to the telegraph office to summon the coroner.
 
 
On cross examination, Mr. Allen stated he was a deputy sheriff. Judge Rucker asked if, when the coroner arrived on the scene, witness told him all about the matter. "I told him all I was asked," the witness replied. Attorney Rucker was proceeding on this line of questioning when the district attorney objected that the inquires were irrelevant and was sustained by the court.
 
 
Referring to witness's statement that he saw no one when he came out of his own house after hearing the shot Judge Rucker secured a statement from the witness that while the Taylor porch was in plain sight and he thought on one was on it might been possible that some was on it, it might have been possible that someone was lying there and he might not have noticed it as he thought the cries came from another direction and he was trying to locate the person who was in distress. he did not notice whether there was blood on the gun when Taylor handed it to him. There was considerable blood on the porch, but he noticed in the house before the body been carried in. Afterward he noticed spots on the floor.
 
 
 
-----------------------------------------

 

 
Aspen Daily Times, Saturday, January 25, 1908 (page 1)
TAYLOR SAYS BEING DOGGED, HOUNDED
 
Mrs. Hadden Said Taylor Either Fire Shot at Her or at Ceiling to Frighten Her and Caused Premature Birth of Child
 
"I am an honest man and I am proud of my record."
 
John L. Taylor, on trial in the district court on a charge of murdering his wife in Coal Basin on July 19, 1907, made the foregoing statement to a representative of the Times yesterday morning just after Mrs. Louise Hadden, a sister of the dead woman, had testified about Taylor's conduct towards his wife.
 
"I am being hounded and dogged by people who have taken a grudge against me," Taylor said.  "They are trying to put up a job off the all the way around." Taylor said.  My wife and I lived happily together and I never threatened her life.  Her folks did all they could to cause her to separate from me."
 
Taylor said that everybody was against him, but that he would prove his innocence before the trial was concluded.
"They can never prove that I killed her because I didn't and they can't prove what I did not do."
 
The prosecution weave its net of circumstantial evidence closer and closer around Taylor yesterday, but there has not been any direct evidence submitted that Taylor did the killing.  The prosecution is relying on the threats made by Taylor that he would kill his wife, of her constantly expressed fear that he would kill and on the circumstances immediately surrounding the killing.  The examinations made by the three physicians four days after the death of the woman and the condition of the mouth and the possible ways in which the wound could or could not be inflicted, are the other points brought out by the state.
 
The testimony of Dr. W. H. Twining was the most positive of any given by the physicians.  Dr. Twining told of a "V" shaped break to the two lower front teeth in the dead woman's mouth and he said that it must have been made by shoving something into the mouth.  Dr. Twining said he did not think it would have been made by the explosion of the shot in the mouth or by the recoil of the revolver when it was fired.  It was the two lower teeth that were broken and the testimony by Dr. Twining that the teeth were broken as though something had been pushed into the mouth is the first evidence submitted by the prosecution in support of the opening statement of the district attorney that Taylor killed his wife by forcing the revolver into her mouth and firing the shot.
 
District Attorney Gentry questioned the physicians as to the causes which might have made the face of the woman so black.  Several witnesses had testified that the woman's face was very dark when they ran up to the porch where she was lying just after being shot.  All the physicians agreed that it might be caused by the woman being strangled.  It also may have been caused by other things.
 
"The teeth could have been broken by the recoil of the revolver, but in this case I wouldn't think that they were broken in that way" Dr. Twining testified.  "The teeth were broken like something being forced into the mouth.  It is more probable that they were broken in that way that caused the "V" shape of the break."
 
As to the examination of the wound in the woman's mouth, the physicians said it would have bled considerably, but being in the back part of the mouth it would have required some time for the mouth to fill and the blood to flow from the mouth to any great extent.  The defense tried to prove by the physicians that the wound in mouth was inflicted with a revolver held in the left hand,  Mrs. Taylor was left handed.
 
The physicians said there was no way to determine in which hand the revolver was held if the woman committed suicide.  Dr. Twining said that the greatest laceration in the mouth was on the left side.
 
The court room yesterday was just as badly crowed as on previous days and even more so.  There were a greater number of women present yesterday than any day before.  At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon the district attorney announced that he had examined all the witnesses in making up his side of the case in chief, except W. S. Copeland.  Sheriff Begley announced that Mr. Copeland was expected in on the train at noon yesterday, but that he didn't come.  The court took an adjournment from 3 until 3:30 to see if Mr. Copeland could be found.  The officers had been instructed to bring him into court, but they could not find him in Denver or on the way home, they said.
 
While in Denver attending the state convention of the stockmen, it is said that he was a guest at Albany Hotel.  Sheriff Begley said that Mr. Copeland had been subpoenaed about a month ago.  When he did not appear in court at 3:30 o'clock this morning.  Mr. Gentry announced that if Mr. Copeland did not appear to testify at 10 o'clock this morning he would rest his case.  The defense will then begin the introduction of its testimony.
 
The first witness on the stand yesterday morning was Mrs. Louise Hadden, a sister of Mrs. Taylor .  My sister told me that Mr. Taylor had threatened to kill her.  She told me that on one occasion he had either shot at her or shot at the ceiling to frighten her and that it caused the premature birth of a child."
 
That was the testimony of Mrs. Louise Hadden, a sister of Mrs. Taylor on the stand yesterday morning told how she and the other members of the family object to Lillie May Brew,the sister marrying Taylor and about refusing to speak to her sister for a long time after the marriage.  She said that Taylor and her sister were married in November, 1908, and that the sister had been living with her prior to her marriage to Taylor.
 
"I didn't see Mrs. Taylor, my sister, to speak to her, until in October, 1906, almost three years after the marriage," was Mrs. Hadden's statement to the jury.  "She didn't come to my house until in April, 1907.  That was about a month or so before she went Coal Basin with Taylor.
She was then trying to dispose of her things to where her husband was at work in Coal Basin.  She sold some furniture and the horse to a Mr. Phillips and she sent him a telegram that she would dispose of the other and come to him just as soon as she could.  This was in May, gave her the money to pay for the telegram."
 
It was after this telegram had been received by Taylor that he wrote to his wife that she could go her way and would go his.  Mrs. Hadden said then that Mrs. Taylor asked her to keep the baby and that she would go out and work for her own living.  Mrs. Hadden refused and the baby was cared for by Mrs. Johnstone, a sister of Taylor's while Mrs. Taylor obtained employment as a cook in a private home.
 
Three or four days after Mrs Taylor obtained work in a private home Taylor came up from Coal Basin.  "Do you suppose mother will every forgive me for writing those letters:"  Mrs. Taylor is said to have asked Mrs. Hadden.  "She doesn't need to blame, because I was made to write them at the point of a gun."
 
 
The letters referred to were the ones in which Mrs. Taylor accused her mother and sister of forcing her to sell herself to other men.
 
"May (meaning Mrs. Taylor) was very much afraid of her husband,"  Mrs. Hadden said.  "My sister told me that Taylor would kill her if she ever made up with her folks.  "I know he has heard of me visiting my folks since he has been in Coal Basin and he will kill me now, my sister said to me just after she had received the last letter from him.  Before she went to Coal Basin with him she seemed to think that if she went he would kill her.  She had a great fear of him for some reason."
 
Mrs. Hadden said she had three sisters, Charlotte, May and Rose.  May Taylor did not see or speak to May Taylor for three years after her marriage.  "I didn't visit her because I was opposed to her marrying Taylor," was Mrs. Hadden's excuse.
 
Judge Rucker asked Mrs. Hadden if she did not meet May Taylor in Cain's grocery store alone day and say, "Now, you dirty little bitch, you have married the bulldog and you can stay with him."  She said she did not tell her sister that.
 
"When Taylor came up from Coal Basin after my sister she came over to tell me goodbye.  She said she did not know where she was going.  That was the last time I ever say her."
 
THE FIRST TEAR OF THE TRIAL.
 
As she said this her voice trembled and tears came into her dyes.  But it was only for a moment and then she continued her testimony.  This was the first time any tears had been shed during the entire proceeding.
 
"When my sister told me goodbye she said she didn't know whether she would ever see me again," Mrs. Hadden continued.
 
Mrs. Hadden then said that she knew Knick Egan,.  In his opening statement to the jury Rucker said that Mrs. Taylor's mother had forced her to get to Egan's cabin when she was only 11 years old and that Egan ruined her life.  Judge Rucker said that Taylor would testify that his wife told him that Egan paid her mother $100.
 
"I did not send my sister to Nick Egan's cabin,"  Mrs. Hadden said, in answer to a question by Judge Rucker.  "Yes, Egan did make her and me a present of a watch."
 
ROSE TYLER KNEW TAYLOR FOR 19 YEARS.
 
Rose Tyler, who runs a rooming house in Aspen, testified that she had known Taylor and said that Mrs. Taylor had visited her at different times.  The first time she visited Mrs. Tyler after her marriage to Taylor was in May, 1907, while Taylor was in Coal Basin.
 
"After she received a letter from Taylor telling her to go her say and he would go his, she brought her trunk to my house and wanted to work for me in a restaurant that I then owned,"  Mrs. Tyler testified "She told me she had to get out and make her own living.  She shouted me the letter from Taylor in which he accused her of something, I .  I don't remember what it was.  She told me that Taylor was mad because she didn't dispose of the furniture and things at once, and that now he had written such a letter she didn't care whether she went to him at all or not."
 
JUDGE TOLD HER TAYLOR WAS BLUFFER.
 
Then Mrs. Tyler testified about a visit she and Mrs. Taylor made to the office of Judge Rogers of the
county court.  Mrs. Taylor a ordering Taylor under bond that he is not to hurt her of kill her.  Rogers told her should have to wait  until Taylor did something before he could put him under bond him under bond to keep the peace.
 
"Judge Rogers told us that Taylor was only a bluffer and that was all," Mrs. Taylor said, we left Judge Roger's officer while we were going down the steps, Mrs. Taylor did that if she waited Taylor did something before put under bond to Keep the peace would be too  late as he would killed her by that time. 
 
 When he  came to town a few days later and I told her would have to take her trunk away from my home and called up a transfer company to and had her take the trunk to the home of Mrs. McVail."
 
Mrs. Tyler said she advised Mrs. Taylor to leave her husband to get a divorce and leave town.  She was badly frightened all the time and was constantly threatening she said.
 
"Mrs. Taylor told Judge Rucker that she didn't think Mr. Taylor would shoot her, but  that latter we left the judge's office me that she was afraid he would shoot her."
 
BARBER SAW FINGER PRINTS ON WALL.
 
William Barber was placed on the stand again and told about there were some hand prints or finger prints on the wall in the Taylor home he saw after the tragedy.  He did know when they were made, out he said the print of a small hand on the wall just as if had been dragged along.  It was make with fingers.
 
 
 
-----------------------------------------
 
Aspen Daily Times,  Sunday, January 26, 1908 (page 1)
'THEN I WILL KILL MYSELF" SAID WIFE"
Testimony That Mrs. Taylor Made Threats To Take Her Own Life.
 
Mrs. McVail Told of Hearing Mrs. Taylor Say She Would Kill Herself In Three Days If Taylor Didn't Live With Her
 
 
 "I will kill myself if you don't.
 
That is the declaration Mrs. Taylor made to her husband, John Taylor now on trial for the murder of his wife, less than three months before her lifeless body was found on their front porch in Coal Basin.  She told her husband that in the presence of Mrs. McVail, one of the witnesses for the defense yesterday afternoon.  It was on the 29th day of May that Mrs. Taylor said this to her husband.  Mrs. Taylor had just come into the McVail home carrying a bundle containing some letters and a pistol.  She laid the bundle down on the table.  Taylor was in the room at the time, He picked up the pistol.
 
"Are you going to kill me?" she asked him. "No; what do I want to kill you for?" Taylor replied.  "Then I will kill myself" she said.  After the wife made this declaration she and Taylor took a walk.  They returned to the McVail home the next day.  Mrs. McVail asked why they didn't make up and live together again.  Taylor answered that he had not decided what to do.
 
"If he does not live with me I will Kill myself," Mrs Taylor said to Mrs. McVail.  The prosecution proved that Taylor made threats that he would kill his wife if he found her in company with another man.  Mrs. Taylor had made statements to her friends that Taylor had threatened her life on several occasions.  The defense is that the woman committed suicide.
 
John L. Taylor, the man on trial for the killing of his wife, went on the stand yesterday afternoon and identified more than fifty letters his wife had written to him while he was away from home a few month before she was found dead on the porch.  He also identified a long statement of more than 100 closely written pages which the wife is said to have been writing for three or four months before her death.  The prosecution proved by one witness that Mrs. Taylor said her husband poked a gun under her nose and made her relatives that were not true, but the letters introduced yesterday for identification were written when Taylor was 160 miles away and Taylor said to a representative of the Times that in then was the statement that Mrs. Taylor mother and her sister had forced her to live with other men.
 
The court has not yet decided that the long statement written by Mrs. Taylor before her death and which involves some prominent people in Aspen, will be admitted in evidence.  Judge Shumate will read the letters and the statement today and will decide Monday whether to admit the statement.  The prosecution contends that the statements were either written by Taylor himself or the Taylor forced his wife to write them at the point of a gun.  Andrew Anthony testified yesterday that the he had not seen the statements were found in a washstand drawer after the woman's death and that Taylor said he knew nothing of the existence of the statements until after his wife's death. 
 
The letters written by Mrs. Taylor to her husband and the testimony of witnesses yesterday indicated that Taylor and his wife lived happily together, with a quarrel here or there, but that no violence was ever done to her.  No evidence has been submitted that he struck or beat her.
 
While Taylor was on the stand yesterday he read to himself some of the letters that his wife had written to him while he was in Coal Basin and he read part of the statement she is said to have written about her life and the lives of her relatives, just before her death.  Taylor did not display the slightest excitement.  He was a peculiar way of expressing himself and is of a very nervous temperament.  yesterday when a letter was handed to him for identification and he was asked who wrote it, he answered every time:  "My deceased wife Lillie May Taylor, wrote it."
 
The sole purpose for placing him on the stand was to identify some of the letters she had written to him and to identify the wife's hand writing.  Judge Rucker stated that he would be placed on the stand later to tell the story of his relations with his wife, the circumstances surrounding the killing and to explain some of the accusation made against him.
 
Some of the young women involved in the statement Mrs. Taylor wrote have since married and Judge Rucker said a few days ago he considered it very bad policy to allow these names to be given to the public.  It is said that the statement makes rich reading.  I was addressed to The Aspen Times and in the statement Mrs. Taylor says she does not want it published until after she had killed herself.  It is in the nature of a review of her whole life to be made public only after her death.  In the statement she says she will kill her mother and sister and several other people who have been the ruin of her life, and then commit suicide.
 
Taylor swore yesterday on the stand that the statement was in the handwriting of his wife and that he knew nothing whatever about the existence of such statement until after his wife's death.
 
The clothing which John L. Taylor wore in the mines at Coal Basin on the day his wife was found dead on the front porch were examined by at least one person and no blood was found on any of the garments, according to the testimony of Andrew Anthony, witness for the defense.  The defense began the introduction of it's testimony yesterday morning.  The prosecuting attorney had made a statement to the jury that he would prove that the clothing which Taylor wore when he came out of the mine and a few hours before the body was of his wife was found on the front porch of their hom, had been destroyed.  The contention of the state is that Taylor rammed the revolver down his wife's throat and shot her and then burned the clothing he wore to conceal the blood spots on them.
 
The testimony of Anthony was a strong point in favor of the defense, as he worked in the mine with Taylor, knew the clothes wore and helped pack the clothing that was in the house just after the death of Mrs. Taylor.  He found an examined the suit Taylor wore just before the killing and there were no blood stains on it.
 
Veta Carter a 16 year old girl, who was employed as a servant in the William Barber home just two doors from the Taylor home in Coal Basin, was the first witness for the defense yesterday.  Miss Carter was in the kitchen washing dishes between 1 and 2 o'clock on the day Mrs. Taylor was killed, and she testified yesterday that she heard quarreling in the direction of the Taylor home five minutes before she heard a shot fired.  When she heard the shot she continued her work and paid no further attention until Mrs. Barber ran out of the room.  Then she followed.
 
The testimony of Mrs. Barber for the prosecution was that when she reached the corner of her house and looked around toward the Taylor home she saw Taylor stooping down over the body of his wife and she saw a revolver in his hand.  Miss Carter, who ran out of the room and around where she could see the Taylor home just after Mrs. Barber did, said on the stand yesterday that Taylor was not on the porch when she looked up that way, but that he was in the house and that she did not see either him or a revolver.
 
Miss Carter heard Mrs. Barber say "Look! and Mrs. Barber testified that when she said hat she saw a revolver in Taylor's hands.
 
"When Mrs. Barber said "Look! Look!" I did look and only saw the corpse lying on the front porch,"  Miss Carter said "I Did not see Mr. Taylor on the porch.  He was inside the house, I suppose.  I talked with Mrs. Barber the next day.  I know I did not see a revolver and I was looking in the same direction that Mrs. Barber was looking"
 
Judge Rucker then asked Miss Carter if Mrs. Barber didn't tell her that she had not seen a revolver in Taylor's hands.  District Attorney Gentry objected to this, as Judge Rucker had not laid the proper foundation.  Mr. Gentry said that when Mrs. Barber was on the stand a few days ago he should have asked her whether she did or did not tell Miss Carter that she did not see a revolver Judge Shumate sustained the objection.
 
Pat J. Nallan of Coal Basin, one of the pit bosses in the coal mine there, said he arrived at the Taylor home two hours after the woman had killed herself.  Mr. Nallan said he helped clean the Taylor house.  He said that Mrs. Taylor's body had been washed and laid out when got thee.  Taylor spent the night with him.  Nallan said he examined the stove in the Taylor home while making a fire and that no clothing had been burned in the stove.  This tends to upset another theory of the prosecution that Taylor burned the clothes he had on at the time he is alleged to have killed his wife.
 
Jerry Johnson, a coal miner, was the next witness in Taylor's behalf.  The trouble that Taylor and his wife had just before the killing was over a pay check.  There was something said about the check blowing out the window of the pantry.  The state proved by one witness that thee was a screen on the pantry window and by another thereat the window was hard to open.  Johnson testified yesterday that he had opened the window just after Mrs. Taylor's death and that the window was easy to open and did not have a screen on it.  Johnson said that he and another man examined the walls closely and that the walls as one witness for the state testified, Andrew Anthony also testified yesterday that he examined the walls closely and that there were no finger prints on the walls of the bed room.  Andrew Anthony, a coal miner, was the next witness for the defense.  Anthony was the one who helped Taylor pack his clothes after the wife was found dead. clothes in a trunk the Anthony said Taylor's work clothes he had on the morning he left the mine the same day.  Mrs. Taylor was killed  "Mrs. Barber told me she did not know anything about the case the day after the tragedy,"  Anthony testified yesterday.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Wednesday, January 29, 1908 (page 2)
CHARGED HIM WITH OTHER CRIMES
Imputations by District Attorney of a Most Serious Nature
 
Taylor Denies Shooting Woman Ten Years Ago and Killing McDonald
 
I wanted to get rid of her.  I didn't want any person around me that was always talking about killing herself.  The only reason I took her back was to save her life from her own hands.  I wanted to separate from her all the time and intended to in time."
 
This startling statement was made on the witness stand yesterday morning by John L. Taylor, on trial in the district court charged with the murder of his wife on July, 19, 1907, by shooting her in the mouth with a revolver.  Taylor was on the stand all yesterday morning and the day before.  He told again yesterday of the confessions his wife made to him about her other relations with other men and about her constant threats to kill herself.
 
In the cross-examination of Taylor yesterday morning District Attorney Gentry forced Taylor to testify that ten years ago he shot a woman through the neck in the redlight district in Aspen and that he was arrested and tried on the charge.  He was acquitted.  In answer to a question by the district attorney, Taylor said that on the night the woman was shot through the neck he wore a long beard on his face and that following morning he was clean shaven.
 
District Attorney Gentry asked Taylor if in 1904 his brother-in-law, William McDonald was not killed by a gun shot wound in the mouth in his cabin here in Aspen, similar to the way Lillie May Taylor, his wife was killed and that if he did not confess to his wife that he had killed McDonald denied knowing anything about how his brother-in-law was killed.
 
At the time of McDonald's death if as said that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth.
 
According to the testimony of Dr. J. C. Stone, Taylor was considering the advisability of committing suicide in less than an hour after he found the body of his wife on the front porch.  Dr. Stone is from Coal Basin and was a witness for the defense yesterday.  He said that when he was called to the house to attend Mrs. Taylor in less than half an hour after she had shot herself, he found Taylor stalking from room to room in a frenzy of grief, muttering to himself that he did not see why she had done it.  he said that Taylor carried on so much that he became uneasy about him.  While he was examining the mouth of the dead woman Taylor came into the room and said:
 
"The grief and sorrow is too much, I do not have to stand it do I, doctor?"
    
Dr. Stone said he looked around and Taylor had a gun in his hand looking at it with his finger on the trigger just as though he was considering the advisability of killing himself.  Dr. Stone jumped forward and seized the gun.  He took possession of it.  Then Taylor began waling through the rooms again.  Some thing attracted the doctors attention to him again and Taylor stood in the same place as before with another revolver in his hand looking into the muzzle of it as though he were just preparing to shoot himself.  Dr. Stone asked Taylor what he was going to do with his little boy when he killed himself.  Taylor lowered the gun and Dr. Stone stepped forward the second time and took the gun from him.
 
     "I then though I had better send for someone to stay with Taylor, as he was in such a state of mind I did not know what he might do,"  Dr. Stone testified.  "I continued to examine the body of the dead woman.  It is true I was not examining the body of the woman all the time.  I was taking revolvers away from Taylor part of the time.  I did not see any bruises and marks on the face, except of the shots in her mouth.  Two of the upper front teeth were pushed out ward but I did not notice any "V" shaped breaks in the front teeth and I examined the mouth carefully at the time.
 
The three physicians who examined the body after it was exhumed testified that there was a "V" shaped break in the front teeth, such a break as would be caused from drawing a revolver out of the mouth suddenly, or thrusting something hard into the mouth with great force.  The statement from Dr. Stone that there was no break in the teeth that he noticed, although he examined the mouth in less than an hour after the woman was found dead, took some of the force out of the theory that the gun was forced into the woman's mouth.
 
Taylor again told on the stand yesterday the trouble he had restraining his wife coming to Aspen from Coal Basin last June to kill her brother and sister and several men whom she said had ruined her life.  Taylor said that his wife told him then all about how she was going to kill her relatives and enemies.  She was coming to Aspen, he said, pretend to be very friendly with them and place poison in their food which she was going to ask the privilege of preparing for them.  Taylor said he had a hard time to pacify her see exclaimed;  
     "Oh, John, I could kill anybody on earth except you and the baby."
 
Mrs. Taylor told him, according to his testimony, that after she killed some of her relatives and enemies she would not be taken alive, "but I will die fighting." she said.
 
Taylor testified that he did not take his wife to Coal Basin to kill her and that he did not force her at gun point of a revolver to write some of the letters and the long statements that were introduced in evidence.  He said that he did not write them himself and the force her to copy them, either.
 
Taylor said that on one occasion he became so desperate after listening to her threats so many times that he invited her on occasion to take a revolver and shoot him in the back of the head, as her confessions to him had broken his heart and destroyed the hope of ever living a happy moment again.
 
Taylor said in his testimony yesterday that her threats were so frequent to take her own life he thought at one time he would take her to home of a neighbor and have her tell them what she proposed to do.  He said he wanted other people to know how she was talking about killing herself so that if anything should happen he would have witnesses to her statement of her intention to take her own life.
 
He said in his testimony yesterday morning that he had forbidden his wife relatives to attend the funeral.  He said this at the request of his wife, he said, as he had often told him that when she died she not even want her parents and relative to look at her face in death.  Taylor said he did not have the body buried one day sooner than was intended.
 
Taylor said yesterday that his wife carried on at a great rate when he came up from Coal Basin May 28, 1907.  She begged him to take her back..She told him everything, he said, but what that everything was the court would not allow him to tell the jury.  In his testimony yesterday Taylor contradicted the testimony of several of the state's witnesses and some of his own.
 
"I think my wife thought more of me than she did of our child, ten to one," Taylor testified.
 
At one place in his testimony he told how he took her back to save her life and didn't expect to live with her long and at another time he said; "I took her back and I am of it!"
 
"It is not true that my wife an I had trouble that morning and that I shot her, went back into the house, took off my shirt and come out again,"  Taylor vehemently declared, when asked by the district attorney if he did not do these things.
 
Taylor said that he did help carry the body of his wife into the house, but he said that when he went into the room where she was lying on the bed he did not jump upon the bed and say;  "May, May, why in the hell--- don't you wake Up?"  What he did say was, "May, my God, wake up."
 
There has been considerable controversy between the state and the defense about the contents of a letter Taylor wrote to his wife on May 18, 1907 in which witnesses fro the state said he wrote for his wife to go her way and would go his and that he made some kind of a threat which alarmed her.  Taylor told yesterday what the letter contained.  According to his testimony the letter, which he said was destroyed by his wife, read something like that this:
 
     "I never did like you, but I loved you and worshipped you.  I have always been truthful and virtuous.  I will be in Aspen to pay my bills.  If reports are true you can go your way and I will go mine.  I have Coal Basin with this letter."  At the time I wrote this I never expect I never expected to write to my wife again,"  Taylor said on the witness stand yesterday.
 
Taylor was on the witness stand the entire morning yesterday and for a few minutes yesterday afternoon.  Dr.Stone of Coal Basin was the next the next witness.
 
After Dr. Stone had completed his testimony, A. W. DeMarais, the undertaker, was called to the witness stand.  Mr. DeMarais went to Coal Basin after the body of Mrs. Taylor.  He said that when he arrived there the body was in pretty bad condition and he wrapped it in a blanket and oil cloth and placed in a casket to bring to Aspen.  Taylor had instructed him to take the body to home of his sister, Mrs. Jennie Johnstone, as he did not
want any of the dead woman's relatives to se the body.  Mr. DeMarais said the two front teeth were loose and projected out.  The face was quite dark, but there were no marks and bruises outside of the marks on the mouth caused by the explosion.
 
After the body was taken to the Johnstone home Mr. DeMarais was preparing it for burial.  He discovered something in the woman's mouth.  It was the absorbent cotton Dr. Stone had place there just after the woman was found dead to stop the bleeding.  Mr. DeMaris started to pull the cotton out of the mouth.  Mrs. Johnstone came into the room and asked him what he was doing.  He explained that he was trying to see what it was in the woman's mu=mouth.
 
"What does it concern you?" Mrs. Johnstone asked Demaris. 
"Not a thing on earth,"  Mr. Demaris said.  Then put it back there and finish."
 
 
 
-----------------------------------------
 
Aspen Daily Times, Friday, February 1, 1908 (page 1) 
FATE OF TAYLOR REST WITH JURY
Judge Rucker For the Defense Spoke Almost Four Hours and Made Eloquent Address
 
District Attorney Gentry Began Final Argument at 4 and Completed at 6 o'clock - No Verdict Had Been Reported
at Late Hour
 
The fate of John L. Taylor now rests in the hands of the twelve men who have so patiently and attentively listened to the evidence, instructions of the court and the arguments of the attorneys on both sides.  District Attorney Gentry concluded his final argument to the jury shortly after 5:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and the jury was then taken to dinner.  After dinner the jurors were returned to their room at the court house and began considering the verdict.  A verdict may not be reached before sometime tomorrow.  If the Jury reviews any of the evidence, reads the instructions of the court and the long statements and the letters purporting to give the life history of Mrs. Taylor, it will require sometime to reading a verdict.
 
When court convened yesterday morning Judge Rucker, Attorney for Taylor, began the argument for the defense.  For two hours he reviewed the evidence and at times launched into a passionate plea for the life of the man whom; he had so ably defended.  The court room was crowded throughout the day and the closest attention was given to the argument of the attorneys.  At 12 o'clock court convened at 2 o'clock he began again his review of the evidence and Judge Rucker announced that he had not completed his argument.  When concluded his address a few minutes before 4 o'clock.  At that hour District Attorney Gentry began his final argument in behalf of the prosecution and he spoke for two hours.
 
Judge Rucker began by explaining in the jury that he was appointed by the court to defend Taylor and that the compensation he would never receive a cent he would make the same earnest plea for the man he felt was perfectly innocent and was being hounded by his enemies and an adverse public sentiment.
 
"I feel confident of this defendant's innocence,"  Judge Rucker said.  "I feel it in my heart that he is innocent and if I did not receive one penny in compensation for my services I would feel that I should do what I could in defense of an innocent man.  Every little incident and every conceivable circumstance that could be construed in the slightest degree against this defendant has been used in connection with the clamor of public sentiment to prejudice the minds of this jury against the defendant."
 
Then Judge Rucker turned his attention to answering some of arguments made by District Attorney Gentry in his opening address Thursday afternoon.  He said that the District attorney was mistaken when he said to the jury that he could lookthem in the face and tell them that he proved every allegation the prosecution had made in the opening statement.
 
"What about the statement that the district attorney made in his opening statement to the jury that he expected to prove by one witness that Taylor was seen to bring the body of his wife out of the front door and lay it on the front porch?"  Judge Rucker asked "That was one of the most material allegations of the prosecution and I stated to the jury on the first day of the trial that if the prosecution could prove that Taylor was seen to bring the body of his wife out the front door and lay it on the porch he deserved to be hung.  But the prosecution has produced no witness or witnesses to prove that Taylor was seen doing anything of the kind.  The state brought Mrs. William Barber here to prove that charge and the nearest she came to it was to say that she saw Mr. Taylor come out the front door of his home, stoop over the body of his wife and while he was stooping over she saw something shining in the sunlight like a revolver.  She wouldn't even swear positively that it was a revolver she saw.  But the testimony of this woman was contradicted by two other witness and taking into consideration all the circumstances and interest Mrs. Barber has taken against this defendant I am of the opinion she has willfully perjured herself.
 
"The district attorney told you that this defendant had violated the law in going to Salt Lake City to get married and he says this is one circumstance to prove that Taylor is competent to kill.  The law of Colorado does not stretch its arms out into Utah where this man married the young woman who afterwards killed herself, but if it did and this defendant violated the law in that instance, it would not prove that he was competent to kill.  Does such evidence as that convict him of the crime of murder?"
 
"The prosecution has tried in every conceivable way to prove that Mrs. Taylor was afraid of her husband.  No wonder she was afraid of him.  She had violated the promises she had made to him.  Before they were married she made a faithful promise to him that she would have nothing further to do with her mother and sisters.  The little girl whom he loved and who loved him had confided to him that when she was only 11 years old her mother compelled her to sell her virtue to a man named Nick Egan.  Is it any wonder that he exacted a promise from her that she would have nothing to do with such people?  If he did take that interest in his wife is that any pre   that he was competent to.  There are thousands and thousands of people in Pitkin County that competent to kill.  Any man is competent to kill when he has surrender provocation.  The best man on a would kill in defense of his home and his life and when the district attorney accuses this man of being incompetent to he makes no more ridiculous accusation against him could be made against any other man."
 
"The prosecution has attempted to prove by one or two witnesses that Mrs. Taylor lived in constant fear of her husband.  The only proof the state had on this point was that Mrs. Taylor had told her sister, Mrs. Hadden, that she was afraid of her husband.  The more than twenty letters and the long statements that Mrs. Taylor wrote during the few months prior to her death disproves that charge.  In these letters and statements she said her husband had never treated her wrong.  She praised him for his excellent treatment of her, while on the other hand she said that she had treated her poor husband like a dog.  These statements the woman made when she thought she was facing death by her own hands are conclusive proof as to how she felt toward her husband."
 
"The trouble is with some of the witnesses the state introduced that they are so prejudiced that they have inadvertently stretched what the girl wife really told then.  The district attorney tries to make a great thing out of the testimony of a man and his wife that claims to have seen Mrs. Taylor take her husband's horse to the barn late one night.  Because the devoted wife assisted him when he had been working hard all day in the Newman tunnel, this man is accused of being competent to will.  The letters and statements introduced and which are in her own handwritings proves that they did live happily together and the wife declares in several letters that she is responsible for the conduct of her husband on several occasions and that she had treated him like a dog."
 
"The district attorney asked that if the wife had made threats that she would kill herself if John Taylor did not live with her, why it was that she did not kill herself when he wrote her that letter from Coal Basin telling her that she could go her way and he would go his.  I wan to call your attention to the fact, gentlemen of the jury, that up until the time this defendant went to Coal Basin to live he and his wife had lived happily together.  it as when he became suspicious of the actions of his wife, wrote to her that she could go her way and he would go his, and then came to Aspen to see what was the matter that she told him that if he did not take her back she would kill herself.  It was then that Taylor took her back to save her life.  It was then that she told her husband how she had been doing during his absence in Coal Basin and that she had treated him like a dog.  It was then that she begged and plead with him to take her back and told him that if he did not she would kill herself in three days.  this defendant told you on the witness stand that when she made this threat to take her own life that she looked so much like she meant what she said that if alarmed him and he took her back to
 save her life.
 
"When she confessed to her husband on the way to Coal Basin how she had violated the promises she had made him and the marriage vows he told her he could not forget and could not love her as she once did, it was then she said her heart was breaking and that she would kill herself.  if these confessions the girl wife made to her about the way her mother and her folks treated her, should not the district attorney bring the mother, Mrs. Bew, to the witness stand to disprove the charge that the daughter was lying when she wrote these statement.  If all these things she is said to have told her husband are not true,  shy didn't the district attorney place witness on the stand who live within the jurisdiction of this court to prove that the poor girl was lying.  In these statements she names the men and In theses statements she names the men and the women who have ben the cause of her ruin and her wretched life.  She tells what they did to her.  Many of these men and women are in Aspen and still the district attorney did not bring them into court to disprove the charges that the poor girl made against them, but chooses rather to cast insinuation about this defendant being responsible for the statements.  the only witness to say that John Taylor forced his wife to write these about her relatives was Louise  Hadden, a sister of the dead woman, who said that Mrs. Taylor told her she was forced at the point of a gun to write letters to her mother," or two hours the district attorney held the attention of the jury and a large number of spectators.  He again went over the statements and said he killed his wife in cold blood.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Tuesday, February 4, 1908 (page 2)
 
HUNG JURY IN TAYLOR CASE
 
Jury Stood Ten For Conviction and Two For Acquittal
 
For Almost 72 Hours Jury Voted and Argued, But to No Avail
 
On Ballot for Second Degree Murder the Jury Stood Nine to Three
Taken to Glenwood Springs to be Tried Again March 18, 1908
 
The jury in the John L. Taylor case could not agree and Judge Shumate discharged them.  The Jury stood ten for conviction for murder in the first degree and two for acquittal.  That was the way the jury stood on the first ballot Friday night and that was the way it stood on the last ballot yesterday afternoon.  The two jurors were as determined in their convection that Taylor is innocent as the ten were that he was guilty.
 
The jury retired to make up a verdict Friday afternoon at 5:30 o'clock.  The jury had been out almost 72 hours.  While on first degree murder the jury stood ten to two, the vote was nine to three on second degree murder.  So at least one man on the jury made up his mind that if Taylor was not to be convicted of first degree murder he should be acquitted.
 
Judge Shumate made an order just before court to send Taylor to the county jail at Glenwood Springs.  Irving Everett, county coroner, left last night with Taylor for Glenwood Springs, where he will be confined until the trial in March.
 
One member of the jury sent a note to the court yesterday morning asking that if certain testimony could be read to the jury.  Judge Shumate took the matter under advisement.  When the jury did not report a verdict yesterday afternoon Judge Shumate asked the jury to come into the court room.  After the jurors had taken their seats in the jury box, G. B. Brown, foreman, announced to the court that the jury had not agreed and that it would not be possible for it to agree.
 
"We have acted on you instructions your honor, and I believe it is absolutely impossible to arrive at a verdict," Mr. Brown announced to Judge Shumate.
 
"The sentiment of the jury hasn't changed in forty eight hours," Thomas Carter, one of the members of the jury said.
"There is not much use holding you any longer if you gentleman feel that way about it," Judge Shumate said to the jury.  "That is the feeling of the Jurors," Foreman Brown announced.
 
Judge Shumate then thanked the jurors for their attendance and the consideration they had shown.  He said that is often became necessary to inflict hardship on a jury in murder cases, but that he had tried to make it as pleasant for the jurors as possible.  "We have tried every way to have a fair and impartial trial and I believe we have done so." the judge said.  "The court could no urge on you to bring in a verdict.  You are discharged from further attendance.
 
Immediately after the jury was discharged the case was set down for another trial March 18, 1908.  Again the county will have to go to an enormous expense to try Taylor.  Judge Shumate fixed his bond of $18,000, which he doubtless cannot give Taylor expected a verdict of "Not Guilty" and was visibly disappointed when it was announced that the jury could not agree on a verdict.  Though it was a narrow escape for him and he should have been very glad that it turned out as it did.  There is a conviction in the minds of the great majority of people in Aspen and Pitkin county that Taylor killed his wife and there seems to be belief in the minds of the great majority of the jurymen that he killed her.  If it had been a case of "majority rule" Taylor would have been convicted of first degree murder and would have had to serve a life term in the penitentiary.
 
But the two men that though he was not guilty were of the opinion that the proof was not clear that he killed his wife.  It was purely a case of circumstantial evidence and there were many contradictory statements made by witnesses on both sides who seemed to strive very hard to tell the truth.
 
Many are of the opinion that Taylor wrote the statements which purported to be the life history of his wife, though letters which were unquestionably written by her were introduced in evidence and the hand writing was identically the same.  Taylor might have had something to do with the writing of the statements but the wife wrote them.  He might have written them and forced her to copy them, but even that does not seem reasonable.  If the woman had written such statements solely at his dictation and forced by him at the point of a revolver, it does not seem that she would have written to her people about it or made some complaint to someone, as she would have known by the statements that she was forced to write that he expected to kill her as soon as she had them completed.  So it does not seem reasonable that he wrote them and forced her to copy them.  It would have taken two or three weeks or maybe longer to write all of the statements and the documents were in the house in different places on the day of her death.  They could not have been in the house very long without her seeing them if Taylor wrote them.  There is a mystery surrounding these statements that she is said to have left which will never be solved probably, though some of the jurors and great majority of the people are of opinion that he wrote them.
 
The strongest argument that he did write them is the fact that in the whole statement nothing is said about their only child and there are pages telling about how she loves her husband and what a dear model of a husband he is.  That feature of it is a little overdone.  It is not like another to write such documents and no say a word of love for the baby boy or give any directions whatever about what was to be done with him after death.
 
Another thing in the case that did not look very good; Taylor made himself out such a fine fellow all through the trial and made his wife out such a bad woman.  He was a most forgiving husband and every time his wife would do anything wrong he would open his arms after some persuasion and pleading and take her back again.  he was a regular saint and she was a most terrible creature.  Taylor overdid that feature of the case.  He isn't an angel by a whole lot and from what people say of the girl wife he is a whole lot worse than she is.  Most anybody know that the girl wife did not go out of the house that July day and kill herself without the slightest provocation.  Taylor said on the witness stand that he and his wife had not quarreled that morning, but that he was just as kind and considerate as could be with her.  Taylor didn't tell the truth there.
 
If Taylor had come right square out and told that he and his wife had a quarreled that day and that she flew out of the house in a rage and shot herself it would have looked reasonable, but it is not at all reasonable, but it is not at all reasonable that she would have walked out of the house while he was talking so kind and considerate to her and killed herself.
 
On the other hand there are many features in favor of Taylor.  if he had forced the woman's mouth open to place the revolver in her mouth there would necessarily have been a struggle in which her face and throat would have been bruised, her hair disheveled and her clothing torn.  The woman would not have meekly submitted.  There was not a mark or a bruise on her face or Throat that was not made by the explosion of the shot in the mouth.  It would have been impossible for Taylor to have killed the woman with a terrible struggle and in doing that he would have left marks and bruises.
 
 
So taking the case all in all, there were doubts about Taylor having killed the woman then on the other hand is looks very plain that he did kill her.  But the jury neither acquitted nor convicted Taylor so there is no use grieving over spilt milk.
 
To Judge Rucker is due the credit for saying Taylor from life imprisonment.  judge Rucker made a stubborn and able fight for Taylor and he did not fail to take advantage of every opportunity to land a point in favor of his client.  Although his fee was paid by the county and he was appointed by the court to defend Taylor lawyer in fighting just as hard for the man whom he had appointed to defend as if there was a bi fee in the case.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Thursday, February 6, 1908  Page 2)
TO BUY CANVAS SINGLE COTS FOR THE JURORS
It Will Be Cheaper To Pay $24 for 12 Cots That Will Last For Years Than To Rent Them
 
Judge Shumate appeared before the board of county commissioners yesterday to suggest that the county buy some canvas cots for the jurors to sleep on when they are held over night in the jury room at the court house on important criminal cases.
 
During the more than two weeks of the John L. Taylor murder trial the jurors slept on rented mattresses.  Judge Shumate said that a dozen single cots may be purchased for $2 each and could be folded up and kept clean while not in use.  He though this would be more satisfactory and more economical in the long run.
 
Judge Shumate told the board that District Attorney Gentry had mentioned to him that he would like to have an office arranged for the district attorney alone, as it was not always the best to confer with witnesses in the halls or in the hotel.  The board then ordered that the office now occupied by the county surveyor be vacated by him, as this is the office occupied by the district attorney for so many years.  The surveyor will either move into the middle office in the county clerk's office or occupy one of the rooms on the second floor.
 
 
 
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Glenwood Springs, Saturday, April 11, 1908 (page 1)
JOHN TAYLOR JURY HEARD TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES
 
 
 District Attorney Gentry made the opening statement for the state in the John L. Taylor case today, followed by Judge Rucker for the defense.  The statements of the district attorney as to what he expected to prove was in substance the same as the opening at Aspen in January.  He said would prove by circumstantial and direct evidence that John L. Taylor murdered his wife in Coal Basin July 17, 1907.  In the opening statement for the defense Judge Rucker told of the statements Mrs. Taylor had made prior to her death.
 
The introduction of testimony began this afternoon.  The witnesses examined this afternoon were: W. S. Copeland, Charles Daily, Dr. Twining, Dr. Guthri and Dr. Judkins, P. F. Murphy, who was a policeman in Aspen at the time of the murder also was a witness.  These men told the same stories they related on the witness stand during the first trial in Aspen.
 
The doctors told of the location of the wound in the back of the mouth of Lillie May Taylor and of the breaks in the front teeth Copeland and Murphy told of seeing Taylor in Aspen two or three months before the shooting and of the threats he made against her.  Copeland told also of seeing John Taylor the day after Mrs. Taylor was buried and of the despairing way he spoke of her character.
 
"We have a good jury and I feel very much encouraged" Rucker the attorney for John Taylor, said last night.  It required only a few hours to obtain a jury in Glenwood."
 
Word from Leonard Duncan says that he is located on a fine ranch in New Mexico.
 
Tom Nellor left yesterday for Glenwood Springs to attend the trial.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Tuesday, April 21, 1908 (page 1)

TAYLOR GUILTY!

John L. Taylor who has been on trial in Glenwood Spring charged with the murder of his wife, Lillie May Taylor, in Coal Basin last July, was found guilty by the jury at 11 o'clock Sunday morning.  Judge Shumate will sentence Taylor Friday.  It is understood the case will be appealed.  The jury retired to make up its verdict at 10:30 o'clock Saturday night, but did not begin balloting on the case until Sunday Morning.  There were a few of the jurymen who voted for first degree murder on the first ballot.  It was a compromise verdict, some of the jurymen wanting to be lenient with Taylor.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Friday, April 24, 1908 (page 1) 
TAYLOR TO SERVE 20 TO 30 YEARS
 
Judge Shumate Sentenced Him Yesterday In Glenwood---
"Why Didn't You Shoot Me and Be Done With It"
 
The motion for a new Trial in the John L. Taylor case was overruled by Judge Shumate in Glenwood Springs yesterday, and Taylor was sentenced to serve not less that Twenty years nor more than thirty five years in the penitentiary at hard labor.  Judge Rucker presented the motion of a new trial and it was promptly overruled.  This probe ends on the most expensive and closely contested murder trial in this section of the county.  The first trial in Aspen last January resulted in a hung jury.  Judge Rucker, attorney for Taylor made an able plea for his client at that trial.  It was thought to be almost impossible to obtain a jury in Pitkin county; so by agreement the case was transferred to Glenwood Springs.  It required only a few hours to obtain a jury here.
 
From Taylor's actions when he was sentenced yesterday, he expected a lighter sentence.  He looked very much surprised and when Judge Shumate finished the sentence Taylor said: "Why didn't you shoot me and be done with it?"
 
As the trial in Glenwood Judge Rucker was assisted by Lyman Hays.  But the probable strength of the two able attorney was not enough to save Taylor's liberty, but it came very near doing it.  A compromise was reached by the jury and a second degree verdict was agreed upon.  Taylor has no money with which to make an appeal to the supreme court, so he will have to go to the penitentiary to serve out his sentence.  if the case is appealed it will be through the efforts of his sister, Mrs. Johnstone, who has stood by her brother throughout this long contest for his liberty.
 
Mr. Uriah Taylor father of John Taylor, a good citizen and a perfect old gentlemen, returned to Aspen from his farm in Missouri only a few weeks ago.  The father was confident that his son would be given freedom.  He felt that the son was not guilty and was being prosecuted.  He told on the witness stand how Mrs. Lillie May Taylor, the dead woman had told him she would take her own life in very much the same way as she met death.  There are many mysteries connected with the case that will never be unraveled.  In the eyes of the great majority of the people in Aspen Taylor was guilty.  He stoutly denies it and his people say he isn't.  That is where the matter stands.  But he will have to serve the sentence just the same.
 
 
 
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Aspen Daily Times, Saturday, April 25, 1908 (page 1)

"I AM AN INNOCENT MAN"
 
John L. Taylor Wrote These Words On Back Of Baby's Photograph ---
Body Brought Here Yesterday and Funeral At 2 O'clock Sunday Afternoon
 
 These words were written on the back of his baby's picture by John Taylor a few hours before he committed suicide.  Two pictures of his little boy had been given to him by his sister from which he was to choose one.  On the back of one of the pictures he wrote:
 

"Shun those people that were the
cause of your mother's death."

 
   
 On the other picture he wrote:  "I am innocent man and have been wronged.  Be a good boy."  So far as is known Taylor left no other written statements.
 
The body of John L. Taylor, who committed suicide in the county jail at Glenwood Springs Thursday night arrived in Aspen on the Denver & Rio Grande yesterday afternoon, accompanied by the father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Uriah Taylor and the sister Mrs. Johnstone.  The body was taken to the home of Mrs. Johnstone 101 Center Street.  The funeral will be held at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon from the home of Mrs. Johnstone and the body will be buried in Red Butte Cemetery.  The grief of the aged mother over the loss of her unfortunate son is almost more than she can bear.
 
When Mr. and Mrs. Taylor told their son good bye in the jail Thursday night at 9 o'clock he was cheerful and smiled when he said "Good by mother; good by father.'  Mr. Taylor said his son was brave under the terrible strain and it did not enter his mind that John Taylor would take his own life.  The father and mother stayed in Glenwood until after he was sentenced and until the last hope of saving him from prison was gone.
 
The details of the suicide were very much as given in the Times yesterday morning.  It was a miracle how Taylor could have managed to hang himself with such a short piece of rope.  The piece of rope was only a few feet long.  It was taken from a hammock.  The men sleeping adjoining the Taylor cell were awakened shortly after midnight by his struggles.  The light revealed his body dangling by the rope.  They set up a cry that awakened the other prisoners and the sheriff.  Under Sheriff Cardnell rushed up to see what was the matter and took in the situation at a glance.  He hurriedly cut the rope and Taylor's lifeless body felt to the floor in a heap.  A physician was summoned, but nothing could be done.  So far as is known Taylor did not leave any written message.  He maintained until the end that he was an innocent man and had been prosecuted by his enemies.  Strong is the belief that he was innocent, he told some of his friends that he had rather die than suffer the disgrace of going to the penitentiary.
 
Taylor was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to from 20 to 30 years in the state penitentiary at hard labor.  It was only ten or twelve hours after the sentence had been passed on him and he knew that his last home of freedom was gone - that he was a dead man by his own hands.  The charge was that he killed his wife Lillie May Taylor in their home in Coal Basin last July.  He claimed that the wife placed the revolver in her mouth and fired the shot that ended her life.  The contention of the prosecutor was that he forced the revolver into his wife's mouth and fired the shot.  There were no witnesses that saw the deed committed.  It was all circumstantial evidence.  Practically the same testimony that was introduced at the first trial in Aspen was given to the jury in Glenwood.  There has been much prejudice against Taylor in Aspen and in Coal Basin.  Still there were many who believed that he did not kill his wife.  The repeated declarations that she had made before her death that she would kill herself was their foundation for the belief than he was innocent.  Now that he is dead, all will take a more charitable view of it.  If he was guilty he has paid the penalty.  If he was innocent a great injustice has been done.  But twelve good men have passed on his case and declared by their verdict that he was guilty.  The law is supreme and should always be so.

 
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