Wed, April 01

1918: JEROME; Horace Harrison Murdered, September 23, Part 7.


"Short freedom is likely to be the portion of Diego Ballesteros, Enrique Estrada and Felipe Cervantes, alleged murderers of Horace Harrison, a mine guard at the United Verde at Jerome last September. Released as a result of habeas corpus proceedings by James Loy, the three accused left custody, and are thought to have returned to Jerome."

"The re-arrest of the suspected murderers was ordered as a result of filing a new criminal information by County Attorney Neil Clark. The information is accompanied by a copy of the proceedings in the justice court where a preliminary hearing was held on February 15th."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; February 26, 1919; page 4, column 7.)


"Nitroglycerine, oozing from the sawdust, was crusted on the edges of a suit-case full of tin can bombs, carried gingerly into the Superior court room yesterday. It looked mean. The jury and the court looked short. That is, it didn't take long to satisfy the court and the jury about those bombs. They were gingerly carried out of the court room."

"The prosecution rested in the case of Diego Ballesteros, Enrique Estrada and Filipe Cervantes, charged with having killed Horace Harrison at Jerome last September. The defense opened by moving to strike a quantity of testimony, and this being denied, moved for a directed verdict in favor of the defendants. This was also denied after a considerable argument."

"A witness named Alfonso Murillo was the one who connected the bombs with the defendants. He said that on September 10, he saw the defendants go into a house near the United Verde Extension, with a heavy laden suitcase. After the killing of Harrison, the officers searched this house and found the suitcase. It still contained the bombs. Said bombs had been made by putting a primer and stick of giant in a tin can and surrounding same with bits of scrap iron. It is thought the bombs were to have been used in connection with the short lived Mexican revolution in Jerome last fall. At any rate, one glimpse of the explosive was enough for the court. The powder was so old that it was unstable and constituted a real danger to anyone handling it."

"The state produced other testimony to show that the defendants had quit their rooming house, a day or two before the killing, leaving a lot of their personal effects in the hands of the landlord, Kasta Katich."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; Wednesday, March 19, 1919; page 1, columns 3-4.)


The jury "admitted failure to agree on the guilt or innocence of the three Mexicans charged with murder. The murder jury was out 28 hours."

"Diego Ballesteros, Enrique Estrada and Felipe Cervantes, principals in the Horace Harrison murder case earned a new trial when their jury, which was sent to its room to find a verdict at 5 p.m. Tuesday announced at 8:45 last night its inability to agree. The case opened last Friday and was to have been a short one, according to the announcement of the state." ...

"James Loy conducted the defense which was based on a general denial that the defendants had anything to do with the shooting of Harrison."

(Prescott Journal-Miner; Thursday, March 20, 1919; page 1, columns 2-3.)


"Honorable James Loy, attorney at law of Prescott, Arizona, succeeded in freeing four men in the Superior court. Three of these men, Diego Ballesteros, Enrique Estrada and Felipe Cervantes, were jointly charged with the murder of one Horace Harrison, a guard at the works of the United Verde company, Jerome, Arizona. The information alleged that these defendants killed and murdered said Horace Harrison on the night of September 23, 1918. After a long chase the defendants were apprehended near Camp Verde, arrested and then incarcerated in the county jail of Yavapai county. They were tried in the Superior court last winter on the charge of murder. The trial lasted many days, and in defending his clients Judge Loy put up one of the greatest legal battles ever staged in this or any other state. ... His address to the jury in behalf of his Mexican clients was one of the grandest and most powerful effusions of impassioned eloquence which ever fell from the lips of man. ... He spoke for nearly two hours and by his spontaneous and impassioned eloquence and logic succeeded in raising a reasonable doubt, so that the jury stood 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, thereby causing a mistrial."

"Yesterday the Superior court called the case to have it set for a second trial. Judge Loy was on hand demanding an early trial for his clients; whereupon the county attorney promptly moved the court to dismiss the information as to all of said defendants, which the court did. Judge Loy then had an order made releasing his clients from the county jail. The prisoners were overwhelmed with emotion at this unexpected finale, and they and their counsel, Judge Loy, held an informal levee in the court room." ...

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; June; 4, 1919; page 2.)

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