The Shelby Democrat
(From Thursday’s Daily)
Thursday November 23, 1905
Page 2 column 1
JURY NOW HAS CASE
The Fate of Daniel Wilkins Is Now in The Hands of The Sworn Twelve
No Trouble in Showing The Bad Reputation of All Parties Concerned
SIX HOURS OF ARGUMENT
Dan Wilkins grew more nervous as his cross-examination proceeded yesterday
afternoon. During the ordeal he sat with his knees crossed and continually he
kept up a motion of one of his feet. Frequently he drummed on his knee with his
fingers. At other times he folded and unfolded his hands with a twitching
In addition to the facts detailed in Wednesday’s
Democrat, Wilkins made the
"No, I did not tell Sheriff Newton that Harve had a revolver and that I
had to kill him to save myself. I said nothing to the sheriff about it.
not tell Albert Tucker that if I caught Harve with my wife I would kill him.
wife did not state in my presence and that of the sheriff and prosecutor that
Harve raised to shoot and that she caught his arm.
"I knew of one time when my wife received money from Babb.
She got a
note in which a $2 bill was inclosed. My wife burned the note. It stated that if
ever I interfered with him he would kill me."
testified that Babb’s reputation for peace was bad. Zack
Everett, William Kuhn, George Wilkins, and Sam F. Barrett
testified to the same
effect. Steven Schumake surprised the defense by testifying that Babb’s
reputation was good so far as he knew.
The Defense Rests Case
At four o’clock the defense rested its case, and the prosecution proceeded
with the rebuttal.
was the first witness introduced for the purpose of
impeaching Mrs. Wilkins. He testified:
" I had a conversation with
Gertie Wilkins on an interurban car the next
day after the shooting. She told me that when she first saw Dan he was stooping,
taking sight with his gun in both hands. The reputation of Wilkins for morality
On cross-examination he said:
"Yes, I have helped the prosecution. I
gave some money to hire attorneys and did talk to Dake and to some of the
Babbs. I base my opinion of Dan’s morality on the fact that he lived with a woman of
ill-repute. Whenever a man does that I think his morality is bad. I think
morality applies to the condition of affairs between a man and his wife."
G. M. Smock, Mrs. Mayme Means,
Samuel Brant, Hugh McFadden, Jacob Alexander, W. C. Alexander,
Mrs. Pearl Collier, George Collier, Lewis Borders, Sam Barrett,
Frank Wirr, John House and Joseph Vance testified that the reputations of
Wilkins and of Gertie Wilkins were bad. Several of these had heard that Dan had
shot at divers men on account of their habits of seeking Gertie.
Mrs. Pearl Collier
was an important witness. She said: " I had a
conversation with Gertie on the evening of the shooting. She told me that she
and Harve were in the cornfield. She sat down on Harve’s coat. Harve sat down,
took out the bottle and drank. He had just put the stopper back in the bottle
when Dan shot and Harve was dead."
"Dan said that if he caught Harve and his wife together
he would kill Harve. I think he said if he caught him at the house he would kill
was put on the stand. He said: " Mrs. Wilkins told me that
Harve said ‘Dan you’ve got me.’ At London, while Wilkins was in my
custody, she ran up to him and said ‘O, Dan, I’ve got something to tell you.
I’ve got Harve’s revolver."
The evidence of Gertie Wilkins given before the coroner was then read to the
jury, after which the state rested.
The defendant’s attorneys offered to prove by Gertie Wilkins that Thomas
Vandiver offered her a silk dress and $15 if she would testify for the State
against her husband, and that he had threatened if she did not do so, he would
raise a mob at Brookfield and do her bodily harm. The State objected and the
court ruled the proposed testimony out.
This morning the argument of counsel began. Prosecutor Bassett opened for the
state. He was followed by Thomas Campbell of the defense. Attorney Wray for
Wilkins followed Campbell and at 3:18 this afternoon Ed. K. Adams finished the
argument for the state. Judge Sparks then began reading his instructions to the
jury. At about four o’clock the jury retired to deliberate concerning the
Contributed by Barb Huff
The Shelby Democrat
(From Friday’s Daily)
Thursday November 23, 1905
Page 6 column 1
VERDICT WAS MANSLAUGHTER
The Jury Find That Daniel Wilkins Was Guilty of Murder of Babb
SIXTEEN BALLOTS WERE NECESSARY
Several Jurors Wanted to Give Him Sentence for Second Degree
DETAILS OF THE BALLOT
The jury in the case of the State VS
Daniel Wilkins returned a verdict at
seven-thirty this morning. As the jurors filed in it was evident from their
countenances that there had been no disagreement. Every man looked calm and
peaceful as though he felt that his record was clean and that he had done his
duty. From the sympathetic glances that were later cast in the direction of Dan
Wilkins as he was brought into the room to listen to his fate, it was guessed
that prison was to be his home for more time in the future.
delivered the verdict in open court, "We, the jury, find
the defendant, Daniel Wilkins, guilty of manslaughter."
The jury was then discharged.
Wilkins was taken back to jail. It is extremely
improbable that a motion for a new trial will be made, as on every hand it is
felt the judgment is deserved. And that a new trial might result in a worse
sentence for the accused may be gleaned from the following history of the
deliberations of the jury.
Immediately after the twelve men retired yesterday afternoon, a ballot was
taken to show the various opinions on the question of guilt. Ten voted guilty,
two voted no. On the second ballot, eleven voted against Wilkins, and one for
him. The third ballot resulted in a unanimous expression of guilt.
Then came the task of deciding as to the degree of the offense.
ballot stood one for murder on the first degree and five for manslaughter.
fifth ballot resulted in a tie, six for second degree, six for manslaughter.
This continued until the eighth when votes began drifting toward the lesser
On the fifteenth ballot, taken at midnight, eleven men said manslaughter, and
one held out for murder in the second degree. The jury then postponed discussion
Bright and early the sixteenth ballot was taken.
Twelve votes were cast for
manslaughter, and the deed was done. The bailiff was notified than an agreement
had been reached, and Judge Sparks was immediately given the information.
Wilkins has not yet been sentenced, but will be called into court tomorrow
and be told that he is to spend from two to fourteen years in the Jeffersonville
Said one of the jurors this morning:
"We did the best we could. I
believe that most of us thought that two to fourteen years was insufficient for
the man, but we were unable to agree unanimously that he deserved a life
sentence. Had there been a law allowing us to give him ten years, I think we
would have settled on a verdict long before we did."
Contributed by Barb Huff
The Shelby Democrat
From Monday's Daily.
Thursday, November 16, 1905
WILKINS IS NOW ON TRIAL
Accused Takes Things Cooly And
Does Not Appear Alarmed.
The case of the State vs. Daniel
Wilkins, the latter charged with the murder of Harve Babb, in a
cornfield near London, on Sunday, September 3, was begun in the circuit court
today. The state is represented by Prosecuting Attorney Bassett,
assisted by Hord & Adams. Wray & Campbell
appear for the accused.
The morning was taken up
in securing a jury. The following are the men in whose hands will rest the
Mitchell, Edward S. Vancleve, Ed J. Clark, William
Comstock, August Brummer, Henry Wissing, Jasper M.
Wheeler, John W. Meiks, Jesse Andrews, Henry Curt, Sr.,
J. A. Conger and Henry Brigman [Briggeman?-pmf].
The first seven are
members of the regular panel, the other five being obtained from the special
venire of fifty ordered for this case.
The first witness, Dr.
Macdonald of London, took the stand at 1:40 this afternoon.
Fifteen minutes later he was succeeded by Coroner Bass. The
evidence of these gentlemen was directed toward showing that Babb had met
his death on account of a wound inflicted by a revolver. Later in the day
evidence of a more sensational character will be submitted.
Dan Wilkins is very cool
and does not seem concerned in the least. He calmly surveys the crowd
gathered, and seems oblivious of the fact that he is the focus of many curious
eyes. The court room is crowded, the corridors leading to the doors being
filled by those who have failed to get comfortable resting places inside and by
the witnesses who are excluded from the room during the hearing of the evidence.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming
The Shelby Democrat
(From Tuesday’s Daily)
Thursday November 16, 1905
Page 4 column 3
TRYING TO SHOW SELF-DEFENSE
Attorneys Contend That Wilkins Had To Kill Wife’s Paramour
The Woman Kisses Husband In Court Room
GERTIE WILKINS ON WITNESS STAND
The trial of Daniel Wilkins
was resumed this morning. As was the case
yesterday, the court room was crowded and even standing room was at a premium.
The first material witness was
Sam Brant, who testified that he had met
Wilkins on Sunday afternoon and that the latter had said: "I shot Harve
Babb. I would have rather died myself than to have killed him. You can find him
down there in the cornfield. I am going to give myself up."
Wilson, of Brookfield, testified that he found Babb in the
cornfield lying on the ground with his coat under his head. A bottle of whiskey
sat near him. Wilson took the body, coat, hat and whiskey to Babb’s mother at
Brookfield, where he turned them over to Coroner Bass.
was placed on the stand to prove that Gertrude Wilkins gave the
witness a note on the morning of September 3. Defendant’s attorneys objected
to the introduction of these notes as incompetent to show the guilt of the
defendant, not being his acts. But the court overruled the objections, as the
articles were found on the person of the dead man and were admissible as tending
to show the conditions and circumstances of the act charged.
A note found on Babb’s person was read in evidence. The following is a copy
of the missive:
"My dear Harve:--Isn’t is hell? the way things are. Meet me over there
in the woods at Mary’s home this afternoon at 1 o’clock sure. Now you be
there. Be upstairs in the old house, and I will be sure, sure be there at 1 o’clock.
Have me some whiskey. I am powerful dry. Come up to the saw-mill now and kiss
me. Please do. " GERTIE"
As the prosecuting attorney read the above, he was somewhat confused by the
handwriting and read the first sentence, "I sent it hell."
note found on Babb’s person was read:
"Mr. Harve Babb:--
Ben W. Laws, a member of the police force of this city, testified that
Wilkins had said that he had missed his wife and gone on her track in the
cornfield. That he had tracked them to where he found them and had shot Babb.
Sweetness:-- I now do as I promised. I wish I could see you, as
I am so lonely without you and "Fletch," my darling. It is impossible
I can not go to city Tuesday as intended as Buff House takes the team back and I
do not no if Dan will go sure the next week. I do want to go so bad, but can
not, so now you be sure and come over here Tuesday night, sure, sure. Wait for
me at saloon. I will call you. Come sure. I have some few things to say that
will interest you. Come sure.
"Your well wishing sweetheart, "GERTIE"
After agreeing that the defendant is twenty-eight years of age, the State
rested its case and the defense made its opening statement.
A. F. Wray, for the defense, began at 11:30 by stating that they would conceal
no facts connected with the case. That the defendant has lived in this county
nearly all his life, was married about seven years ago and had lived with Gertie
Wilkins ever since. That he loved his wife dearly. That while he lived at
Brookfield, he worked in a sawmill and Babb lived in part of the house. That
Harve Babb and defendant became fast friends and Harve became as one of the
family. He was permitted to go and come to defendant’s home at all times and
at all hours. After defendant moved with his wife to London, Babb continued to
visit the family, and began to court Gertie and to make love to her. By
persistent attention and importunities he succeeded in winning her affection and
their clandestine meetings became frequent. Wilkins heard of the gossip stirred
up by their transactions. He told Babb what he heard and said that he did not
want him to come about his house any more.
Wilkins was in the habit of taking his rifle or revolver whenever he went out
walking, and on Sunday, Sept. 3, he went down in the woods near his home and on
his return, missed his wife. He accidentally discovered his wife’s tracks in a
corn field and followed them until he came upon her and Babb, sitting together,
and that Babb, who had threatened the life of Wilkins, reached to his hip pocket
for his revolver, discovering he had taken it out previously and placed it by
his side, saw it, grasped it, and raised it in the act of shooting, when Wilkins
drew a gun and fired quickly.
Mr. Wray said that the defense would introduce the only living eye witness to
the shooting, Gertie Wilkins, who had testified before the coroner and before
the grand jury and had each time told the same story.
This afternoon, Mr.
Kellum, father of Wilkin’s wife, was put on the stand
by the defense. Wilkins had told him that he had killed Babb, but said that he
had to do it. Witness then went home, got his daughter Gertie and started in
search of the dead man. They found him lying on his left side, his left arm
doubled under his body. His right leg was stretched out. Kellum also said,
"I found Dan’s revolver at his house and also Harve’s gun. One was full
of loads, the other, all but one chamber was loaded."
This Afternoon’s Proceedings
Prosecutor Bassett drew the witness’s testimony given
before the grand jury and asked him if he had said at that time that Dan had
asserted self-defense. The witness said that the reason he had not told the
grand jury was because he was not certain whether he had heard the words at the
house or store. He was unable to identify the gun as that of Harve as he had
never seen it before. Mrs. Wilkins had given both weapons to him, and he was
unable to say where she had obtained them.
Albert Smith and
Chris Curry were at the store when Wilkins arrived. They
testified that Wilkins had admitted killing Babb. Smith said that the murderer
said that his wife’s paramour had threatened his life. Curry was somewhat
excited and pleaded uncertain memory.
This afternoon the accused was a trifle nervous.
He sat twirling his thumbs
the greater part of the time, and his hands were unsteady. A smile played around
the corners of his mouth while Kellum was on the stand, and his eyes twinkled
every time the defense scored a point.
At three o’clock this afternoon, Mrs. Wilkins took the stand and began
detailing and describing the various meetings she had had with Babb.
The progress of the trial yesterday afternoon furnished nothing of a
sensational character in the way of evidence. After the examination of
McDonald and Coroner Bass, details of which were given in yesterday’s
Democrat, Ralph House was put on the stand. He was in London when Wilkins came
back from the scene of the crime, and stated that the latter had told a group of
men concerning the deed, saying that he had come upon Babb and Mrs. Wilkins in
the cornfield and had killed Harve.
Dr. R.S. McCray, of Morristown, testified that he had assisted in the
autopsy. He described the course of the bullet and the nature of the wound.
identified the coat found lying in the filed as that of Babb. He also described the position in which the body lay when found.
was called upon and detailed the already familiar story of how
Wilkins had come to this city and had sought the prosecuting attorney, of how
Newton had taken him in charge, and of the trip to London. The revolvers were
introduced in evidence. These two pistols were given to the sheriff by
Kellum, the father of Mrs. Wilkins. It is alleged that the five chambered Iver-Johnson
gun is the one with which Wilkins fired the fatal shot. One empty cartridge and
four loaded ones were in the cylinder.
The weapon which the defense asserts was the one Babb had is a six-shooter,
32-calibre Herrington and Richardson, all the chambers being loaded. The state
does not admit that Babb had any gun, and will contest this point to the limit.
As the revolver was given to Newton by the father-in-law of Wilkins, no doubt
the prosecution will attempt to show that the production of the revolver was
made in order to back-up a self-defense story.
was also examined. He stated that Wilkins had said that he had
come upon the two in the field and had killed Babb. His evidence was entirely
corroborative of that of House. As Attorney Wray, in cross-examination,
continually asked the question whether or not Wilkins could have made additional
statements, which might have been overlooked in the excitement, it is probable
that the defense will introduce evidence showing that Wilkins had qualified his
statements after telling of the killing.
While court was taking a short recess yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Wilkins
entered the court room and proceeded straight to the chair in which sat the
husband accused of taking a human life because of her deviation from the paths
of rectitude. As she approached him tears sprang from her eyes. She saluted her
husband with a kiss, then throwing her arms about his neck, wept copiously for a
few minutes. For fifteen minutes she remained leaning on his shoulder, and the
two engaged in a very earnest conversation, both having regained the remarkable
composure that has characterized them since the murder.
Contributed by Barb Huff
The Shelbyville Daily Democrat
Tuesday September 5, 1905
As predicted in Monday’s Democrat, the attorneys for
charged with the murder of Harvey Babb, near London, Sunday afternoon, in their
efforts to secure the acquittal of their client, will rely on the theory of
CORONER BASS HOLDS INQUEST
And Renders Verdict Concerning Murder
of Harvey Babb by Daniel Wilkins
Whatever may have been said or done by Mrs. Wilkins on Sunday during the
hours immediately succeeding the enactment of the tragedy, the fact stands out
prominently, today that Wilkins was outside the pale of the law, when he took
the life of the man who has been intimate with his wife for years. Since early
Monday morning, Mrs. Wilkins has been telling a story that coincides in every
respect with that of her husband, and one which, if true, is sufficient to throw
the mantle of justification around the actions of the husband.
According to the woman, she had promised to meet Babb at one o’clock in a
vacant house a short distance from her home. At nine o’clock Sunday morning,
Wilkins took his gun and left home, saying that he was going to the woods.
During his absence Babb showed up at the Wilkins home, but was sent away soon by
Mrs. Wilkins, who told him her husband was watching and warned him that there
would be trouble if he were caught with her.
Immediately after dinner, Wilkins again left home and Mrs. Wilkins proceeded
to keep her appointment with Babb. The latter was already on the ground waiting
for her. She warned him that they were not safe, and he suggested that they seek
the concealment of the corn field, to which she consented. Upon their arrival at
the field, she again repeated her warning, and Babb replied that if Wilkins
appeared, he would not wait to be shot but would try to see that the husband
received the first bullet.
Going farther into the corn field, the two sat down on the ground, Babb
placing his coat on the earth for his companion to sit upon. She seated herself
with her feet drawn under her in the manner of a tailor at his work and Babb
seated himself near her, at right angles, so his legs were stretched out
immediately in front of her knees. He drew his revolver from his pocket and
placed it in her lap.
He then produced a bottle of liquor and invited her to drink with him.
took a small sip, not because she wanted the stuff, she says, but merely to show
a spirit of good fellowship, and because she did not want to arouse the anger of
Babb, who had already been drinking, judging from his manner. The bottle
contained a mixture of blackberry and whiskey and but about two inches of the
contents had been removed, when Wilkins appeared.
Babb was engaged in placing the cork in the bottle, when in front of him and
to the right of Mrs. Wilkins appeared the husband. The man on the ground started
to arise, and his hand flew to his pocket from which he had taken his pistol a
few moments previously. Then remembering that the gun was no longer in his
possession, he sank back with words: "Well, Dan, I guess you have got
Suddenly, seizing the revolver which still lay in Mrs. Wilkins’s lap, he
raised it and leveled it toward Wilkins, his arm passing across the woman’s
lap, and but a short distance from her face. Hastily she seized the arm with
both hands and attempted to draw it downward. As she did so, Wilkins’ pistol
cracked, and the ball entered Babb’s brain. Without a cry, and without a
struggle, the man died, the weapon falling from his hand into Mrs. Wilkins’
lap, from which he had taken it but the instant before.
Wilkins states that he had no intention of injuring Babb, when he followed
the two people to the corn field. He merely wanted to satisfy himself as to the
purposes the parties had when they made the arrangements to meet each other and
then proceeded to the retirement of the field. As Babb had made threats against
Wilkins on numerous occasions, the latter wished to be at a position to defend
himself, if necessary, for he feared the result, should he, while unarmed, come
face to face with the lover of his wife.
Wilkins says since Harvey Babb choked him in Washington street, in this city,
five years ago, he has always closely watched the actions of the man when near
him, and has never, without first taking precautions, exposed himself in a
position where Babb could do him injury.
The stories given above are the narratives that are told by a man accused of
murder and his wife. As the two people are the only ones, so far as known, who
have any means of knowing what actually happened, the task of proving that the
tales are false seems a well-nigh hopeless one for our prosecutor who is bending
every effort to get at the truth.
Coroner Bass and Prosecutor Bassett
conducted an inquest in the sheriff’s
office at the court house this afternoon. The only important witness examined
was Mrs. Wilkins, who somewhat contradicted her former statements, but in the
main adhered to the story that her husband fired the shot, which killed Babb, in
Later—At 3:30 this afternoon the inquest was finished and Coroner Bass will
file a verdict stating that Harvey Babb was killed by a bullet from the revolver
in the hand of Daniel Wilkins.
At the inquest the woman denied any conversation occurred between the husband
and Babb, immediately preceding the firing of the shot. She testified that she
did not even see her husband before the death of the victim, did not see any
smoke from the gun, nor see him fire. Cool as a cucumber, she calmly described
the events of Sunday, not even a tremor of her voice showing that she had seen
anything different from the ordinary daily happenings that occur to any woman.
She was very cautious, and always quick to see the bearing of a question and the
effect an answer might have on the case. Once she testified that she knew that
her husband had not shot at Joe Everetts because at the time the trouble
occurred between the men, she had her husband’s gun hidden. Then hastily
correcting herself, she said she meant that she had it hidden from other people,
and not from her husband.
The woman admitted that on many occasions she and her husband had talked of
her relations with Babb, but denied that he had ever threatened to do injury to
the man. On being asked if she had not made the statement yesterday that her
husband threatened Babb, she showed the only signs of confusion that she
exhibited during the entire ordeal, and said that she now remembered that
Wilkins had told Babb one night to stay away and declared that if he came it
wouldn’t be good for him.
She denied that she had warned Babb against Dan Wilkins at any time.
admitted that she did say to him on Sunday, in response to a threat on his part
that he would kill her husband: "You say you’ll kill him, maybe he’ll
kill you first." She insisted that this was the first real trouble between
the men, but later remembered the fight on west Washington street in this city,
and also recalled a time three or four years ago when her husband had gone to
the door with shot gun in his hands and had quarreled with Babb. It is needless
to say that such things as there were remembered only after her mind had been
refreshed on the subject.
Contributed by Barb Huff
The Shelbyville Daily Democrat
Another Chapter was added to the tragedy enacted near London Sunday in which
Harvey Babbs, of Brookfield, was shot and killed by Daniel Wilkins, when
Wilkins visited her husband in the reception room of the county jail this
Monday September 4, 1905
WILKINS KILLS WIFE’S LOVER
Daniel Wilkins Shot Harvey Babbs
in Corn Field Near London on Sunday
DEAD MAN WAS WITH MRS. WILKINS AT TIME
Murderer Calmly Gives Himself Up
to Officers in This City Shortly After
WIFE SEES HUSBAND IN JAIL
In the presence of Prosecutor Bassett,
Sheriff Newton and a representative of
the Democrat, Mrs. Wilkins, who was the cause of her husband’s rash act, met
her husband over whom is hanging a charge of murder in the first degree. As Mr.
Wilkins was brought into the room a smile came over the face of Mrs. Wilkins and
she arose, rushed toward her husband, threw her arms around his neck and kissed
him. Wilkins greeted his wife as though nothing had ever happened to cause
trouble between them. In response to her question, "How are you feeling
this morning, Dan?" he replied, " Very well."
The prosecutor was then introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins, and his interview
with them in regard to the crime committed by Mr. Wilkins on Sunday began.
request of Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins, the representative of this paper was refused
the privilege of hearing this interview.
The story of the affair has spread over the county very rapidly since the
killing of Babbs, which occurred near the Wilkins home in London Sunday
afternoon about 2 o’clock. Mrs. Wilkins, who was Miss Gertrude Kallam
her marriage, has been guilty, so is it currently reported and not denied either
by herself or her husband, of receiving attentions of other men besides her
husband. Wilkins has known of this for some time, and for that matter was
cognizant of the fact that she was the mother of a child before their marriage
which was born out of wedlock. For some time he has been watching his wife and
only about eight weeks ago fired a man whom he caught with his wife in the barn
at their home. Some five years ago he shot at Alex McClane
and Omer Teeters in
the town of New Palestine on account of their relations with his wife. Babbs and
Teeters quarreled some four years ago over Mrs. Wilkins.
On Sunday afternoon Wilkins suspicioned that his wife had an engagement with
Babbs and watched her after the noon hour. She disappeared from the house
shortly after washing the dinner dishes. After loading his revolver, with it in
his hand he proceeded from the house and was able to locate her footprints in
the soft earth of the corn field near by. He soon found other foot prints near
which were evidently made by a man’s shoes.
Following these footprints as a guide he soon located his wife and Babbs
seated on the man’s coat in the corn field. Right here is where the stories
vary. Yesterday, the story reported to be told by Mrs. Wilkins was to the effect
that they did not see Mr. Wilkins until the shot was fired. Today she says that
as her husband approached them he was not noticed until very near. As he came up
she says Babb’s revolver was lying in her lap. When Babbs caught sight of
Wilkins, who was approaching, revolver in hand, he grabbed his revolver and
pointed the weapon at Wilkins. Mrs. Wilkins says she grabbed his arm and as she
did so, her husband fired and Babbs fell back, the bullet, which struck him
squarely between the eyes, killed him instantly.
Wilkins then walked over to his wife and after looking at the dead body of
Babbs went towards their home accompanied by her. It seems that though he well
knew his wife was unfaithful, he would take no vengeance on her but was always
ready to fire on her male friends. With her he walked home and from there the
two went towards town. On meeting a crowd of men Wilkins told them of his deed
and requested that they see after the body.
In the same unconcerned manner which has characterized all his movements
since the murder, he fearlessly and without trembling told the story of the
affair. The men would not believe him and accused him of joking. To their reply
Mrs. Wilkins is said to have spoken up with these words: "He’s killed
Harve, I loved him so. Here is his revolver." With these words she
exhibited the revolver, which was lying in her lap at the time of the shooting
and which she says Babbs grabbed and pointed at her husband. It fell to the
ground when Babbs dropped dead and she picked it up. After informing these men of
his deed, Wilkins returned to his home and changed his clothes. After doing so
he bid his wife goodbye in the usual manner and boarded an interurban car for
this city. Arriving here about 3 o’clock he spent the time until 5 o’clock
searching for ex Sheriff Luther. On finding Mr. Luther he told what he had done
and was turned over to Officer Ben Laws and Sheriff
Newton. Before Squire Webb he was charged with murder in the first degree.
He waived preliminary
examination and was bound over to the Circuit court.
Accompanied by the officers and newspaper representatives, Wilkins returned
to London to point out the body of his victim. The body of Babbs had been
removed to town. On going to the home of Wilkins they found it locked and Mrs.
Wilkins had gone to the home of her father, Dallas Kallam. On going to her
father’s house the officers secured the revolver with which Wilkins had shot
Babbs and returned to this city. Wilkins was then placed in jail where he will
await trial at the next term of the circuit court.
This is the story of the affair as reported and the variance in Mrs. Wilkins’s
stories may have something to do with the trial of the case. It is very probable
that her story of Babbs drawing the gun will be used as a self-defense theory.
The body of Babbs was taken to the home of his mother in Brookfield and the
funeral will occur Tuesday at 9 o’clock. He was a brother of Melvin Babbs
residing in St. Mary’s street, this city.
Wilkins has not yet retained an attorney, but does not seem worried over the
affair. He is thirty years of age and his victim was thirty-five. Mrs. Wilkins,
whose actions caused the shooting, is twenty-four years of age and has borne a
bad reputation for some time. She has figured in police circles in this city,
and parties residing at London are authority for the statement that her
reputation as a whole is bad.
Babbs was employed at the saw mill of
Mrs. Thomas Bandver at Brookfield, and
Wilkins was employed at the saw mill of Fansler & Fogarty
Thus another murder is added to the list of local sensations which have been
the cause of many newspaper stories and cartoons in neighboring cities and
counties where the citizens reside more peacefully.
Later this afternoon, Wray & Campbell
were retained as counsel for
Wilkins and will have charge of his defense. When asked by a Democrat
representative for a statement, they replied that they did not wish to make one
and would allow no statement to be made for publication by either Mr. or Mrs.
Thomas Perry, a brother-in-law of Wilkins, residing near London, and
Ed Wilkins, a brother of the man in jail, residing at New Palestine, also visited
him today. There is no special significance in their visit.
Contributed by Barb Huff
The Shelby Republican
Marriage license was issued Tuesday to Alfred
Basey to Augusta Wilkin. The parties reside in Moral township.
Friday, August 12, 1898
Contributed by Lorraine Llewellyn