Posts Tagged ‘shooting affray’

AL: All of the coverage of the shooting incident at Kingston General
Hospital by Millhaven Institution inmate Corey Ward has tended to
focus, understandably, on the effects it has had on the Hospital: staff
are feeling “traumatized” and “violated” according to Dr.
David Messenger, an emergency room doctor and head of the Queen’s
University department of emergency medicine. The
danger to other patients, the shock and fear of patients, their families and friends, and staff, and the need to bring in counselors and support all those deeply upset by the shooting, has been emphasized – again, understandably. The
with a story November 21
about the security and policy
changes that may take place at the Hospital, as well.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers has told the press that both officers feel “shaken up” by the incident, while Correctional Service of Canada officially praised the escort team for being “very diligent and professional.” Ward’s criminal record – 10 years for uttering death threats, violent assault and assaulting a police officer in 2012 – has been released as well.

This local story interests
me for a few other reasons. Initial reports from
CTV via the Canadian Press said Ward was “found unconscious”
in his cell –
this is why he was brought to emergency. But
from what? Why? During his arraignment, Ward
asked for a 30-day psychiatric assessment and
that his medications were being withheld – was he on medication?
For what? Is that connected to the medical emergency in his cell?  He
was charged with attempted murder and firing with intent. but
aside from the initial reports saying the firearm was discharged
during a struggle (it’s not unknown for guns to be fired
accidentally during such a situation) and not aimed at anyone
directly, there is no publicly available evidence to back up these
charges. The
Kingston Police claim the escape was not premeditated, either. Again,
during his arraignment, Ward shouted out: “they
correctional officers]
took the cuffs off me and dared me to attack them.”
may be a post-hoc justification, of course, and perhaps his escort did nothing of the sort, but given the history and
current relationship between staff and inmates at Millhaven – not
good is an understatement – this is not out of the realm of the possible.

Ward is being transferred to the Regional Reception Centre
in Saint-Anne-Des-Plaines, Quebec, which also houses the super-max Special
Handling Unit – a punitive measure without a doubt. This will also make his legal defense more difficult. Finally,
during the few seconds Ward was taped by CTV being dragged into the
courtroom by the Emergency Response Team escort (doing their best
security theatre routine) he yelled something about “suicide” and
Ashley Smith.” What was he trying to say? Why has this not been
reported on by the CBC or the Whig-Standard in their coverage? Does
this not bear further investigation, that an inmate, no matter how
violent or dangerous, might have a strong historical and communal
understanding of the connection between prison conditions, mental health and suicide?

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“No Jury For The Inquest Being Held Today,” Sudbury Star. August 21, 1918. Page 03.

Witnessses to Tell Story of the Shooting of Defaulter.

The inquest into the death of Cyprien Gareau, the Blezard Valley defaulter shot by Dominion Officer Tougher at a farm house last Saturday morning, is taking place this afternoon before Coroner Dr. W. R. Patterson, without a jury. The body has been at Henry’s morgue since last Saturday.

Undertakers who went to the farm house at Blezard last Saturday afternoon report having been shot at from the bush, near the house, several times, while several automobiles have also reported that they have heard bullets whiz by in the same locality. While the police do not place much credence on the reports of shooting, which they attribute more or less to imagination, the undertakers are emphatic they heard the reports of the rifles and the whiz of the bullets close to their rig. It was while returning with the body that the shooting incident occurred.

In direct contrast to the visit of the undertakers is that on Monday afternoon o provincial officers headed by Inspector Storie. The inspector reports he drove purposely past the spot from which the shots were supposed to come, and all was peace and quiet. This may be accounted for, however, by the fact that a brother of one of the defaulters who is at large was in the vehicle with the officer.

There seems to be no doubt but what there was shooting. The undertakers say they met several soldiers, belonging to the district and home on harvest leave. The soldiers took to the bush as soon as the firing started. They later emerged with their tunics under their arms.

Visits to the scene of the shooting were paid by Inspector Storie on Monday and again on Tuesday. An investigation was conducted and witnesses subpoenaed for the inquest. The Inspector found that the stories of the Dominion Police and that of the relatives of the deceased man tally up fairly well, except that there is a difference of opinion as to who fired the first shot. Those at the farm house say the officers fired first, but this is not borne out by the investigation. 

There are four bullet marks inside the house. These bear out the story of the Dominion officers that the first shot, from which Officer Tougher bears powder marks on his face, passed through the roof of the lean-to of the house, where the deceased man was located when Tougher pulled back the curtain. The bullet mark is in the roof. There is also a bullet hole in the front door, which tallies up with the police story that a shot was fired through the closed door at the officers as they were retiring from the house. The next shot was apparently fired by Tougher after the door had been re-opened. This shot passed through the body of the dead man, who was apparently standing in the door of the bedroom, hit a knob on the bedpost and careened off into the wall. There is also a shot in the window sill, also fired from the inside, which so far has not been connected up with the story, unless it was fired to scare the officers away.

Hopes are held out that a younger Gareau, brother of deceased, also a defaulter, will give himself up before the inquest. Relatives have given the police assurance that they will advise the young man to take this course, and it was hoped that he would surrender on Monday, but the plan did not materialize. The authorities were given assurance that he would be produced before August 24th, the last day of pardon extended by the Minister of Justice.

Crown Attorney Miller is acting for the Crown at the inquest and Mr. B. Boutet for the family of the deceased. Mr. Boutet has also paid a visit to the scene of the shooting.

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“Defaulter Dead In Clash With Military Police,” Sudbury Star. August 17, 1918. Page 01.

Officers Were Targets of Fusilade of Rifle Firing.

Cyprien Gareau, aged 28, Blezard township, a defaulter under the Military Service Act, is dead from gun shot wounds received in a Dominion police search for defaulters last night. The shooting occurred at the hom of the deceased, a mile and a half from Blezard postoffice, about 3.30 this (Saturday) morning. Coroner Dr. W. R. Patterson was called by the Dominion police to attend the wounded man and found him dead. An inquest with a jury will be held Monday. Officer Tougher, who shot Gareau, surrendered himself this morning before Magistrate Brodie and has been released on $2,000 bail bonds.

With five Dominion police officers Inspector Tolmie left Sudbury last night, acting on information as to the whereabouts of a number of defaulters in Blezard township. The Gareau home was the third farmhouse the police had visited, the search of the other two having been fruitless. It was about 3.30 this morning when the Gareau home was reached. Inspector Tolmie, with two officers, was in the house examining the papers of two men, when one of the officers stepped over to a curtain which partitioned the room, in search of any other male residents of the household. As the officer threw back the curtain he was fired at point blank by a man sitting on a bed behind the curtain, only a few feet away, holding a rifle. The officers backed away and emerged from the house amid more rifle firing from inside the house. Officer Tougher responded with one shot from outside the house through the door, with the fatal effect. There are two Gareau boys defaulters under the M.S.A.  The other brother was in the house at the time, but escaped.

The Dominion police squad were not all armed, not anticipating trouble. After the affray Inspector Tolmie left three of his men on the Gareay farm as guard and came to Sudbury for rifles and ammunition, returning about 6 a.m. Throughout the night there was some firing from the bush and when the squad left the scene at about six o’clock this morning their departing automobile was subjected to a fusilade of rifle shots from the woods.

It was not until seven o’clock this morning, when a truce was declared and the officers re-entered the house, that they knew the tragedy has occurred. No outcry was made and as soon as young Gareau’s condition was learned the officers immediately summoned medical attention.

The most positive definance of the Military Service Act is evident throughout the Blezard Valley section, Inspector Tolmie informed The Star today. There are over forty defaulters and deserters listed in the district and there is not a day that some incident is not reported of lawlessness that is credited to the defaulters, including the theft of calves, sheep and fowl, and store burglarlies alleged to be committed by them in search of food for the several hiding places. The defaulters have shown nothing but contempt for the recent amnesty extended by the Minister of Justice. Word has been sent by friends to every one of the forty names posted, and there has been only one response to the offer of pardon.

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“8 Years for Manslaughter.” Kingston Daily Standard. June 28, 1912. Page 04.

Foreigner is Sentenced at the Soo – Two Sentenced for Assault.

Sault Ste. Marie, June 28 – Guiseppe Nardoni was sentenced at the Assizes to eight years in the penitentiary, following conviction on a charge of manslaughter. He shot Mike Pappa in a west end boarding house during a quarrel last February.

Georges Piarlkias and Mike Apostolakes, two Greeks, on trial for assault on A. Chirocolo, received three and one years respectively.

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“Whissels Now Prisoners in Sudbury Jail,” Sudbury Star. April 20, 1918. Page 01.

Defaulter Who Shot Policeman Taken Into Custody.

Fred and Joseph Whissel, brothers, principals in the shooting of Dominion Officer McLeod near Espanola a week ago Saturday morning while Dominion officers were attempting to apprehend the elder Whissel, Fred, under the M.S.A., appeared in Sudbury police court yesterday morning charged with attempting to kill. They presented a shaggy appearance in their bush clothes and were in charge of Inspector Storie and Inspector Piper, their captors.

When the charge was read against Fred Whissel he replied ‘No, Sir.’ The younger man, Joseph, in reply to the charge read against him, started out to make a statement but was stopped by the court. The men were not allowed to plead, the preliminary hearing being adjourned for eight days. B. Boutet has been retained to defend the accused men, and it is understood the defence will take the nature of shooting under provocation and in self-defence.

Fred Whissel, the alleged Espanola defaulter, who shot Dominion constable George McLeod a week ago last night, together with his brother Joe, who took to the bush with him after the shooting affray, were taken into camp Friday morning at dawn by Provincial and Dominion policemen who had been on their [trail…] They had camped on […] night and when […] passed out of the tent in the grey dawn of Friday morning he was greeted with a command from Inspector Storie of the Provincial police, at 50-yards distance, to throw up both hands. Fred, the older boy, was then ordered out of the tent and warned not to make a false move. Both were as meek as lambs. They had a tent, blankets, provisions and were armed with a rifle and a shot gun. The officers followed them the best part of Thursday with their field glasses, seen them pitch their tents for the night and then moved down around them to wait the morning.

The hunt was taken up by Inspector Storie and his officers Monday morning, together with the Dominion police. French-Canadian and Indian guides tracked almost every footstep of the twain to their capture. The older boy is 26 and the younger 19 years. Joseph, the younger boy, it is believed, joined his older brother in his attempted escape after the shooting out of brotherly love. He is not thought to have had any hand in the shooting. The officers believe that the father aided and abetted the attempted escape by conveying to them a supply of provisions during Saturday or Sunday. No prosecution has been laid against the parents, as yet, it also being alleged that the mpother incited the older boy, Fred, to shoot officer McLeod as he did.

Officer McLeod continues to progress favorably daily, towards complete recovery, as St. Joseph’s hospital, Sudbury.

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“Dom. Officer Victim of Shots At Espanola,” Sudbury Star. April 13, 1918. Page 01.

Brother of Defaulter Fired Shots – Mother Used Poker.

Espanola, April 13. – George McLeod, a Dominion constable, was shot last night, it is believed fatally, while attempting to arrest a young man by the name of Whissel, an alleged defaulter under the Military Service Act. One bullet entered his back and another his leg. He was shot from behind a curtain by someone in the Whissel home.

The affair occured at the Whissel home about two and a half miles from Espanola, and McLeod is in such a precarious condition that he cannot be removed. Although the shooting occurred about one o’clock last night it was nearly eight o’clock this morning before medical aid could be secured, but it is now with him. The arrest of Whissel was not effected.

Constables McLeod and Tomlinson made a journey to the Whissel home last night to round up young Whissel, who is twenty-two years of age and has ignored the M.S.A. It is not their first visit to the home on the same mission. Little is known of the exact details of the affair, but from what your correspondent could gather the women became excited with the visit of the constables and incited the men folk to violence.

Numerous Dominion and Provincial police officers are on the scene this afternoon. Inspector Piper, of the Dominion Police, came in at noon. Inspector Storie, of the Provincial Police, also arrived and has called a number of his men onto the case. Constable Tomlinson would not discuss the affair in the absence of his inspector. Constable McLeod is a Thessalon man.

First Attacked With Poker.
Parties returning from the scene of the shooting this morning brought in some of the details of the affair. McLeod was first attacked with that favorite weapon, a poker, by Whissel’s mother, it is alleged, and the shots are said to have been fired by an older brother of the defaulter. The constable was still alive at two o’clock and is being removed to Espanola village on a stretcher. Whissel made good his escape and is still at large. There are eight Dominion and Provincial men on the case.

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“Two Youths Surrender,” Toronto Globe. March 12, 1919. Page 05.

George and Tony Barberich Act on Advice of Their Friends


Will Face Charge of Desertion, Also That of Attempted Murder

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 11. – While a great deal of excitement still prevails in New Germany and the country surrounding it because of the raid by the Dominion Police on Sunday morning, the residents are breathing a little more easily today. The chief cause of all the trouble on Sunday morning, and who managed to make a successful escape into the bush, came into the city and gave themselves up to the local police. They were very promptly locked up and will be kept under close surveillance until the charges against them have been finally disposed of.

Friends Advised Surrender.
The chief factor in their decision to surrender themselves was the arrest yesterday afternoon of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barberich, the parents. When they were brought to the city their friends realized that the Dominion Police meant business, and, following an interview with them, it was decided to go back home, and if possible, find the fugtives and advise them that the best thing they could do would be to give themselves up to the officers of the law. There was no difficulty experienced in locating them. When they were arraigned in the Police Court they looked as though they had slept out in the bushes for some time, as their appearance was very unkempt.

Only Themselves to Blame.
George was charged with being a deserter under the Military Service Act, in that he did not report for military duty when ordered to do so. He did not appear to understand what was being said to him, but a plea of not guilty was entered, and Sergt. Wilson of the Dominion Police asked that the case be adjourned. Anthony Barberich was charged with the same offence as his brother. He also pleaded not guilty, and his case went over until to-morrow. To those who were present in the court-room it was apparent that neither one of these young men would have succeeded in passing a Medical Board even if they had reported, so that the trouble they are now in they have only themselves to blame for.

Whole Family Arraigned.
This afternoon Inspector Lane and Inspector Duncan came down from London, and the whole Barberich family were again arraigned before the Magistrate. The charge against the parents was that of harboring deserters under the Military Service Act. They were not asked to plead, but will be remanded for a week, cash bail of $5000 for each being deposited for their appearance. George and Tony were charged with being deserters, and Inspector Duncan asked that they, too, be remanded for a week, but the Magistrate ordered that they be kept in jail.

Real Deserter Surrenders.
When the Barberichs drove up to the Police Station they were accompanied by Joseph Bruder, also of New Germany. He is accused of being a real deserter. He did report for military service at London last fall, and was a member of the Western Ontario Regiment. He was given a short leave of absence on October 26, but as he did not return inside of 21 days he became a defaulter. He also gave himself up, and will be turned over to the military authorities at London, and will no doubt be brought before a court martial. An escort will come here for him to-morrow.

Charge of Attempted Murder.
In addition to the charge against the Barberichs’ for desertion. Constable Huber of Kitchener arrived in the city armed with a warrant for George and Tony on a charge of attempted murder. New Germany is in Waterloo county, and as the shooting too place in it, and is an indictable offense, this charge will have to be tried at Kitchener. However the authorities there will have to wait until the military authorities are through before the warrants can be executed.

Constable Geggin, the member of the Dominion Police who was severely wounded on Sunday, is doing well at the General Hospital.

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“Police Beaten By Absentees,” Toronto Globe. March 10, 1919. Page 01 & 02.

One Constable Shot Down in Desperate Fight at New Germany


Officials Are Determined to Apprehend All M.S.A. Defaulters

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 9. – There is ample evidence that there are a large number of Germans still in Canada who remain yet undefeated. This fact can be proven by Inspector Wm. Lane of the Dominion Military Police, and the squad of men he took with him out to the village of New Germany, a small German settlement about nine miles from Guelph, and about the same distance from Kitchener, early this morning. As the result of this trip one of the Dominion Police constables, Geggin by name, is in the General Hospital here suffering from a severe wound on the top of the head, while some of the others are badly used up.

Police Come Out Second Best.
From the accounts of the attempt to arrest a number of young men who are alleged to be Group Two absentees under the Military Service Act, there was a regular pitched battle fought in this quiet country district just as the day was about to dawn, the result of which was that the police came off second best, with one casualty. It appears that there have been previous attempts to round up these young fellows who absolutely ignored the terms of the Military Service Act, in declining to report for medical examination when ordered to do so, but very little success has been achieved. The police, however, were not to be outdone, and they planned a raid on a fairly large scale, but the details were kept a secret, and on Saturday the local Military Police were reinforced by a number of men sent down from London by the Provost Marshal.

Little Trouble at Hummell’s
The weather was just about the stormiest of the whole winter, and the snow was almost a foot deep, when four autos with three men and a driver in each one sallied forth at 4.30 o’clock this morning on their mission. Two of the cars went direct to New Germany, while the others went on farther to St. Agatha, St. Jacob’s and the disctrict in the vicinity of Kitchener. It was the first two crews which met with resistance. They drove direct to the home of Joseph Hummell, situated just on the edge of the village of New Germany. Here they did not have much difficulty, although the police had to make threat before their parties gave up. They placed under arrest Joseph Hummell, his son, Charles, and Linns Zinger, his son-in-law, the latter having only just recently been married, and these are in the police cells here to-night.

Hot Reception by Mrs. Berbluch
From the Hummelt home the police drove about half a miler farther to the Berbluch farm house. Here they were after Tony and George Berbluch, two young men of whom it has been said they would never be taken, and so far they have made good in this respect. It was shortly after 5 o’clock when they arrived, and Constable Geggin, who was armed with the necessary papers which entitled him to make a search of the house, went to the front door and rapped. His companions were close behind him. There was no response to the knock, and as the door was unlocked the officers unceremoniously walked in. They were heard Mrs. Berbluch, a woman who is above the average size, and she gave the men a decidedly hot reception. She was in her nightclothes, but she lost no time in calling them robbers and other names, which would not look good in print, and produced a copy of a newspaper which declared that the armistice had signed and the war was over.

This kind of argument had no effect on the men, however, who proceeded to do their duty. They started to find the door leading to the stairway, but Mrs. Berbluch slammed that shut, and when one of the men attempted to force her away she doused him with the liquid contents of a vessel, which temporarily caused his retreat.

Constable Shot Down.
However, the door was forced open and Constable Geggin, closely followed by Constable Forsythe, started to go upstairs. The noise which had been made downstairs, however, had been heard by Tony and George upstairs, and they were prepared for emergencies. When Geggin gout about half way up he saw of the boys standing at the top with a rifle in his hands aimed directly at him, and then followed a report. Geggin fell backwards with a wound in the forehead, and as he fell carried Forsythe with him. In the meantime Constable Gowdy, Inspector Lane and the other officers were taking care of the others in the house, Berbluch Senior being kept in bed. Geggin was so severely wounded that he had to be cared for at once, and he was assisted out to the car, which was some fifty yards away.

Young Men Escape.
After he had been put into the car, Inspector Lane saw one of the Berbluch boys fire a rifle at it, but the bullet went wild, and it was then seen that both of the Berbluchs had made their way safely out of the hoyse. They started to run across a big field with several of the police after them, and rifle and pistol shots were exchanged, but no person was hit. The fugitives made directly for the bush, and as another member of the police became exhausted, it was considered unwise to pursue them into the bush which they knew so well. The officers made their way back through the snow to their cars, and as they did so saw the father sitting on the front doorstep with a rifle in his hands. There was no further trouble, however, the police hurried back to the city with Geggin, as his wound was a severe one. At the hospital it required eight stitches to close it, and tonight a special nurse was required to watch him.

Police Are Determined.
Late to-night the Berbiuch boys are still a large, but the police determined to apprehend them, and it is also possible that the father and mother may be arrested. It is rumored that some of their friends have endeavored to persuade them to give themselves up.

The cars which went to St. Agatha did not get back until 5.30 to-night, and they brought along one prisoner, Anthony Rumig of Jordansburg. The news of the trouble at New Germany spread around the country like wildfire, and the greatest excitement prevails. There are still a large number of young men in this district who have evaded the M.S.A., and the authorities are going right out after them.

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“Two Years in Pen,” Hamilton Spectator. March 1, 1919. Page 23.

“You have quite a record for a young boy, and I am not going to allow you to run all over the country stealing bicycles,” Magistrate Jeifs said to Stanley Morton, a youth of 19, who pleaded guilty to stealing three bicycles, the property of persons yet unknown, during the past two weeks in this city. ‘You are sentenced to two years in Kingston penitentiary on each charge, the sentences to run concurrently.’

Morton was arrested by Constable Bleakley in the act of stealing a fourth wheel. He boasted that he had stolen nine wheels in Toronto, and had once served sentence for shooting, in Owen Sound.

He grinned over his shoulder as he was taken below. 

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“Fred Whissel Gets Four Years With Hard Labor,” Subdury Star. December 21, 1918. Page 09.

Conviction of Defaulter Ends an Interesting Case.

Four years in Kingston penitentiary, with hard labor, was the punishment meted out by Magistrate Brodie Thursday afternoon to Fred Whissel, who pleaded guilty to being a defaulter under the Military Service Act.

Whissel, at the Assize Court three weeks ago, was acquitted by a jury of a charge of shooting with attempt to murder Dominion Police Officer McLeod, while the latter was seeking to place him in custody as a defaulter. Two days after the trial, accused was re-arrested by order of the military authorities at Toronto, the charge of being a deserter from His Majesty’s forces being preferred against him, which was later amended to that of being a defaulter. On account of the special and peculiar circumstances in connection with the case, extraordinary interest had been aroused.

Attorney General Acts
The Crown, during the trial on Thursday, was represented by N. F. Davidson, K.C. of Toronto, who was detailed by the Attorney General of the Province. Major Sharpe, representing the authorities of military district No. 2, Toronto, was also present at the trial and assisted the Crown counsel. Although the accused pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him, the Crown, for the purpose of acquainting Magistrate Brodie with the facts with the facts in connection with the case, put former Inspector Tomlinson, Provincial Police Inspector A. E. Storie, and Joseph Whissel, brother of the accused, on the witness stand. The evidence given in each case was a repetition of that given at the Assize Court.

A Flagrant Case
In asking for a maximum sentence to be passed on the accused, Crown prosecutor N. F. Davidson outlined the history of the case, declaring it to be in the opinion of the Attorney General who was particularly interested in it, one of the most flagrant attempts to oppose the operation of the Military Service Act. It was because of the peculiar circumstances of the case, which included the failure of accused to make any attempt to comply with the law which he knew well, the fact that he left the country for the United States when he knew that conscription was coming in Canada, and the fact of the shooting of the Dominion officer who sought to arrest him, that the Attorney General desired and pressed for a maximum sentence. Mr. Davidson pointed out that the night of the shooting, April 12th, was the very date in which Marshal Haig had announced to the world that the British Army was fighting with its back to the wall, seeking with all possible skill and courage to withstand the onslaughts of the German offensive. Here was a man who cared nothing whether the allies won or lost, who openly defied the law, and in addition sought to shoot its officers.

No Ordinary Defaulter
In passing sentence Magistrate Brodie stated that the case of Whissel was unique, and that he did not consider him an ordinary defaulter. There were hundreds of cases of defaulters similar to that of accused, but only up to a certain point. Reviewing certain points in the plea of J.S. McKessock for his client, Magistrate Brodie pointed out that the fact that accused considered himself physically unfit for military service was all the more reason why he should have reported in compliance with the proclamation under the M.S.A.. His Worship stated that when the officers went to arrest him as a law breaker, he took the law in his own hands and it was fortunate indeed that the officer fired at was not killed, else a more serious charge might have been preferred. Magistrate Brodie stated that he could not find one extenuating circumstance in connection with the case of accused. He had defied the law as long as he could, and had become a fugitive from justice. From the plight he now found himself in he alone was to blame. The court told accused that it was fortunate for him that he was not being tried by a military tribunal, for in cases not as bad as his men been given life sentences. In one case a man was given a ling sentence for being absent from leave for 21 days. He had done no shooting, but simply defied the law of the army. Magistrate Brodie pointed out that officers of the law must be protected, else the whole fabric of that law would fall to the ground. A severe sentence was necessary in this case on account of its special circumstances, and as a warning to others who were tempted to take the law in their own hands and openly defy its officers. The court expressed the hope that accused would learn a lesson and that during his imprisonment would behave himself so that his term might be shortened through the intervention of the department of justice on his behalf.

The Appeal of Counsel
Mr. J.S. McKessock appeared for the accused, and sought to have a light senetnce passed on the ground that his client was not physically fit for military service, so that he would not, even if he had reported, been accepted by the military authorities, also on the ground that he had already spent nine months in jail. On this point, the Crown prosecutor did not agree, claiming that accused has spent but two weeks in jail on the present charge. This contention was upheld by the Magistrate.

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“Fred Whissel Re-Arrested As A Deserter,” Sudbury Star. Deember 11, 1918. Page 01.

Military Police Takes Action; To Be Tried Here.

Fred Whissel, acquitted last week at the Assize Court of shooting with intent to murder Dominion Police Officer McLeod, while the latter was seeking to arrest him as a defaulter under the Military Service Act, has been re-arrested on a charge of being a deserter from the Canadian Overseas forces.

Military Authorities Act.
The arrest was made by virtue of a warrant issued by Police Magistrate Brodie, acting on instructions from Major Sharpe, representing the military authorities of Military District No. 2, Toronto. It is alleged that Whissel is a deserter on account of failing to comply with an order from the Ontario registrar to report for military service. The case, which will be tried by the civil authorities, was called in police court on Tuesday, and was remanded until Thursday, December 17. Whissel is now in the district jail awaiting his trial.

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“Jos. Whisel Goes To Jail For 18 Months,” Sudbury Star. December 7, 1918. Page 05. 

Jury Finds That Brother of Defaulter Was an Accessory

On two counts, one of being an accessory to the crime of shooting with intent to kill, and the other of obstructing a peace officer in the discharge of his duty, Joseph Whissel was found guilty by a jury in the Assize Court on Thursday, after a brief deliberation. Accused is a brother of Fred Whissel, a defaulter under the Military Service Act, who was acquitted by a jury on Tuesday on a charge of shooting with intent to murder Dominion Officer McLeod, while the latter was seeking his arrest.

Eighteen Months In Jail
In sentencing accused to spend eighteen months at an industrial farm, his Lordship Mr. Justice Rose made no reference to the verdict returned by the jury in the case of Fred. Whissel. His Lordship said: ‘You have been given a fair trial, and I have given your case very serious consideration. A jury of twelve of your countrymen have found you guilty of a crime for which you could be sent to the penitentiary for a term of years. But I am a very loath to send you there, principally upon your own account. I desire, however, if I can do it with any reason, to send you instead to one of the prison farms, where you will live largely an outdoor life, and gain some knowledge which I trust will be of use to you in your calling when you come out. You are not the man who actually shot – the officer and I don’t think that you are the man who originated the plan of obstruction, but I think rather that without much premeditation you fll in with the plan originated by other members of your family. But you did fall in with it, and the jury thought the responsibility was not so great as if you had actually fired the shots.” His Lordship added further that in view of the fact that accused had spent some time in jail after getting bail, he considered himself justified in imposing the lighter sentence of 18 months in an institution, where, if his conduct was good, he might be able to reduce his prison term.

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“Whissel Free; Jury Returns ‘Not Guilty,’ Sudbury Star. December 4, 1918. Page 01 & 08.

Surprising Verdict Returned at This Week’s Assizes.

Fred Whissel, aged 24, defaulter under the Military Service Act, who has been in custody in the District Gaol at Sudbury since April 18th last, awaiting trial on a charge of shooting with attempt to murder Dominion Police Officer McLeod, was discharged last evening in the Assize court by Mr. Justice Rose, immediately following the bringing in of a verdict of ‘not guilty’ by the jury. The hearing lasted all day.

A Distinct Surprise
There is no misgivings that the verdict came as a distinct surprise to all who had followed the evidence. The attitude of surprise was quite pronounced with his Lordship, who in his charge to the jury before their retirement had favored the bringing in at least of a verdict of guilty of a lesser crime, such as doing grievous bodily harm. In fact, from his Lordship’s remarks to the jury a verdict of guilty of the offence as originally laid would have been justified.

His Lordship emphasized the point of law that it was not necessary to establish that Whissel’s bullets had found a mark. The very fact that prisoner had pointed a rifle in the direction of the officers and fired was sufficient to prove intent, with possible consequence over which he (Whissel) had no control.

The jury was polled at the request of Crown Prosecutor Shaver following the bringing in of a verdict of not guilty. The verdict was confirmed.

Echo Of the Way
The case is an echo of the war and the enforcement of the Military Service Act by Dominion Police in this district. It arose out of a visit of three officers on the morning of April 13th last to the Whissel home in Louise township, near Espanola, to apprehend Fred and Joseph Whissel, alleged defaulters. The visit was made at 1:30 a.m., and during the proceedings, which were quiet lively, Officer McLeod received bullet wounds in the side and thigh which necessitated several month’s hospital treatment. From the nature of the wounds it was nothing short of a miracle that McLeod’s life was spared, a rib deflecting one of the bullets which, according to medical testimony, would surely have penetrated the body and caused death.

Shot By Fellow Officers?
The defence set up by J.S. McKessock, counsel for prisoner, was that McLeod was shot in the confusion of proceedings by Officer Cantant, a companion policeman to the Whissel home on the night in question. Justification to a certain degree was also set up by defence counsel, both of these defence pleas overshadowing all other evidence and undoubtedly had definite weight in the jury’s finding. Officer Cantant was the only member of the police party who carried a gun, and was taken along on account of his ability to speak both English and French.

An Unsatisfactory Witness
Cantant was a most unsatisfactory witness for the Crown, and if the nervousness he displayed on the witness stand was in evidence on the night of the shooting there remains good reason to doubt which bullets, those from the firearm in the hands of Fred Whissel or in the hands of Cantant, wounded Officer McLeod. Cantant was unable to state definitely, under pressure, when and where had fired, or what he had aimed at. He just shot wild, he said.

The Mother’s Evidence
The evidence of Mrs. Whissel and her daughter, Anita, was the only new testimony which was not published in these columns at the time of the preliminary trial. The evidence of the mother and daughter tallied in close detail with that of the two brothers, Fred and Joe.

Mrs. Whissel told of the visit of the officers on the night of the shooting. There was some noise at the door. She was frightened. The first words Mrs. Whissel heard, she said, were ‘open the door, or I’ll shoot.’ The witness called and awakened the younger son, Joe, in an adjoining bedroom. The older son, Fred, came into her room before the door was opened to admit the officers. Mrs. Whissel herself in the meantime getting dressed. She heard something about Joe going away with the officers. To this she admitted offering strenuous objections, but denied any threatening attitudes with a stick of wood or a poker. The wood was picked up to put on the fire and the poker to stir up the coals. The mother admitted using the poker to emphasize her objection to Joe leaving. Mrs. Whissel also denied the use of profane language to the officers. Inspector Tomlinson, she said, ordered his constables out of the house sooner than have trouble. McLeod, however, was insistent. He seized her, (the witness,) by the wrists and she cried out to her son Fred, who had not yet put in an appearance, but was in hiding in the bedroom, to ‘come and help us.’ At this moment Fred appeared with a rifle. Timlinson was the first to clear out and Cantant followed. McLeod remained momentarily in the room, and Fred Whissel fired a shot while he was in the act of leaving. It passed through the door, she said, McLeod retreating. Fred followed to the door and fired another shot wild, ‘just to scare them off.’ Several shots were fired from the outside. Mrs. Whissel said, almost simultaneously with the reports from the rifle in the hands of Fred.

‘Why did Fred come into your room, and why did you send Joe to the door?’ Crown Prosecutor Shaver asked Mrs. Whissel in cross-examination.

‘Oh, it is just a fashion we have,’ said witness. ‘Joe is at the head of everything.’

Crown Prosecutor – ‘Is it not the fact that Joe was under age and Fred a defaulter, that you took the course you did? Mrs. Whissel.’

Witness – ‘No.’

Q – ‘Did you know that there was such a law as the Military Service Act?’

A – ‘No.’

Q. – Mrs. Whissel, did you not know that some of your neighbors’ sons had joined the service and that others were being taken?’

A – ‘I did not think that they all had to go.’

Q – ‘Did you know that your son Fred was a defaulter?’

A – ‘No.’

Q – ‘Did you know that there was a war on with Germany?’

A – ‘Yes.’

The evidence of the daughter was the same in almost every respect as that of the mother.

Prisoner On Stand
The prisoner, Fred Whissel, testified on his own behalf. He had made up his mind, he said, to report for service but kept putting it off. He would have readily given himself up that night were it not for the threatening attitude of the officers. He had fired to protect his brother and his mother. The prisoner admitted firing two shots, but did not think that he had hit anyone. He was quite sure that he had not hit McLeod the first shot he fired, as McLeod was still in the room and he fired at a partially open door. Prisoner admitted firing a second shot wild from a hip position into the darkness. He did not know where it went.

Which Bullet Caused Wounds?
As the trial proceeded the case hinged more and more on whether or not wounds were inflicted by a ‘32′ revolver in the hands of Cantant or a 38-35 Marlin rifle in the hands of Whissel. The evidence as to range, locations, etc., was most conflicting. This was gone into at great length, while evidence was also introduced by crown counsel as to the penetrating power of the respective firearms. Medical testimony, too, was also introduced to show that it was very unlikely that a ‘32′ revolver had caused the wounds.

The jury retired at 6.5, returning their verdict shortly after eight o’clock.

Grand Jury’s Report
Following is the Grand Jury’s presentment read last evening by Mr. C. M. C. Brunton, foreman of the jury to Hon. Mr. Justice Rose, at the Assize court in session at Sudbury this week:

Justice Rose, Judge of the Supreme Court of Ontario
Your Lordship: We, the Grand Jury, after a thorough inspection of the Court House and Gaol, beg to report that we find both buildings in first class condition. In our opinion it is a regrettable fact that the accommodation for female prisoners in the gaol is not more adequate. In the female cells we found a woman of feeble mind who has been an inmate for nearly a year, and we think that she should be removed to a home or other institution provided for such unfortunates. In the male cells there were three feeble-minded prisoners, one of whom had had medical attendance and has been pronounced insane. We feel that this man should be taken to an asylum immediately. One of the other prisoners referred to has been in gaol for three weeks awaiting medical examination. We feel that this condition of affairs is deplorable and that an effort should be made to expedite dealing with such cases.

Before concluding our report we wish to thank your Lordship for the very able and clear address which was of great assistance in enabling us to reach our conclusion in the various cases.
                                            C.M.C. BRUNTON, Foreman

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