Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland
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Full Jury at last Empaneled -- Both Sides Profess Great Confidence -- Talk of Insanity Plea.

INDIANOLA, April 2. --(Special.)-- Selection of jurors in the Hossack murder trial is completed. The panel is as follows: D. Agard, J.P. Anderson, J.B. Bitting, J.W. Bruce, J.W. Hadley, Geo. W. Lewis, F.E. Miller, John Niles, W.C. Pitman, J.W. Poland, Wm. Powers and S. R. Richards. At 11 o'clock Judge Gamble swore in the jury. Reading of the indictment by County Attorney Clammer followed.

During the recital of counts contained in the indictment, the defendant, Mrs. Hossack, was visibly affected, her eyes frequently filled with tears and her frame shook with emotion.

It is expected the balance of the day will be taken up by the prosecution in submitting facts they expect to prove.

A large diagram of the arrangement of the Hossack homestead mounted upon a frame and easel has been introduced by the prosecution. The purpose of the prosecution is to show by use of the diagram that Mrs. Hossack alone could have committed the crime.

The defense made objection to the introduction of this exhibit, claiming that the scale upon which the house was drawn was not the same as used in locating out buildings. The court ordered its admission on the statement of the prosecuting attorney that a uniform scale was used in preparing the diagram.

INDIANOLA, April 2.--(Special)--With the close of the morning session of the court the prosecution announced it had finished making a statement of the facts it would establish. Prosecuting Attorney Clammer consumed over an hour in the presentation of his case. He outlined minutely the ground upon which the prosecution based its case and much stress was laid by him upon the alleged domestic difficulties existing for years between Mrs. Hossack and her husband and upon the fact that a separation had formerly taken place between them. By the evidence of Frank Keller and Fred Johnston the prosecution will show that Mrs. Hossack some years ago left her home and went to that of a son-in- law; that she remained there for several days, but returned to live with her husband after a reconciliation had been effected. They also intend trying to show that soon after a conspiracy was entered into by Mrs. Hossack in which she endeavored to secure the assistance of Keller and Johnston, the purpose being to have her husband assaulted and beaten until nearly dead by the two men. His life was to be spared upon promise to treat his family with more consideration.

It was also stated by the prosecution they would show the defendant solicited Keller to accompany her home on the night she returned from her son-in-law's to act as her protector in case her husband again maltreated her as she had reason for believing conclude making her statement this afternoon and to take up the direct examination of the first witness for the prosecution before court adjourns tonight [sic].

INDIANOLA, April 2.--(Special)--Interest in the Hossack murder trial was greatly augmented here today. When court adjourned at 6 o'clock yesterday afternoon it was understood the work of empanelling the jury would be completed with the close of this morning's session and as a consequence a large crowd had assembled in the yard and hall of the court house at an early hour. When court convened at 9 o'clock there was not a vacant seat and hardly standing room to be had.

The morning session was consumed in examination of jurors. Both prosecution and defense, today, exhausted their peremptory challenge and as but few jurors were excused for cause the panel was quickly completed.

Plea of Insanity Predicted.

Speculation at this hour is rife as to the line of defense to be adopted by Henderson and Berry, attorneys for Mrs. Hossack. Innumerable rumors are afloat none of which can be traced to authentic source. The prevalent opinion seems to be that a plea of insanity will be entered, although others contend the defense propose to show that, while Mrs. Hossack saw and recognized her husband's assailant, the succeeding nervous shock was so severe that when she recovered from her prostration and regained her mental equanimity she was unable to recall the identity of the murderer.

Her attorneys scout at the idea of an insanity plea.

Superstitious people affirm the prosecution will fail to make out its case . The tragic fate of W.F. Haines, the prosecution's star witness, who was lately removed to an insane asylum, is regarded by them as foreboding failure.

It is said the grand jury was greatly influenced in its findings by the evidence of Haines. The prosecution, however, express confidence in their ability to secure a conviction on the circumstantial evidence they can produce.

Plans for Tomorrow.

The opening of tomorrow morning's session will be marked by the introduction on the part of prosecution and defense of such facts as they intend to prove when they will at once proceed with direct examination of witnesses.

It is understood seventy-eight witnesses have been subpoenaed, fifty-three in behalf of the prosecution and twenty-five on the side of the defense.

A conspicuous feature so far is the large attendance of women in court. Over half of the spectators present today belong to the gentler sex. The bright array of Easter hats lent a novelty to the scene, giving it much the appearance of some social function.

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Midnight Assassin copyright © 2017; Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf