Murder in the First Degree is the
Finding of the County Court
to Answer Questions, Refused to
Say Whether or Not He Wanted a Lawyer, and
Judge Emery Appointed Former Justices
Loran L. Lewis and Robert C. Titus
as His CounselCzolgosz
Confined in the Penitentiary.
Czolgosz was this afternoon indicted for murder in the first degree,
for the killing of President William McKinley.
4.15 o'clock the grand jury voted the indictment.
4.41 the grand jury appeared before Judge Edward K. Emery in the
you a report to submit to the court, gentlemen ?" asked Judge
have, your honor, a partial report," replied Foreman Theodore
Krehbiel, rising from his seat.
District Attorney Thomas Penney took
the Indictment and passed it to the court. Judge Emery excused the
jury and left the bench.
were not many persons present in court, as it had not been believed
that the evidence could be presented and a report submitted today.
is a most noteworthy fact that this indictment was voted by the
grand jury just 10 days to a minute after the shooting of the President
and less than three days after the death of the President.
The rumor that the murderer was to be arraigned spread quickly about
the hall and crowds began to gather.
indictment is in the usual form of murder indictments and charges
that on September 6th, 1901, Leon Czolgosz feloniously and wilfully
shot William McKinley with a deliebrate [sic] and premeditated design
to effect his death and that from that wound the said William McKinley
died of September 14th, 1901.
5.36 Czolgosz was brought into the city hall by Detectives Solomon
and Geary, who led him up the stairs from the basement to the 1st
floor and thence to the second floor by way of the stairs at the
west side of the building.
entrance was made quietly, and very few people knew the murderer
of the President was in the building until he reached the county
court room on the second floor. The news quickly spread through
the building, however, and a crowd followed the prisoner into the
court room. Czolgosz walked between the officers quietly and maintained
a stolid indifference to the gaze of the crowds as he was led into
the court room.
it was learned, had been in the penitentiary.
detail of policemen furnished by Supt. Bull took Czolgosz from the
penitentiary to the jail and thence through the tunnel to the city
hall and to the county court, where Judge Emery awaited the arraignment
of the prisoner.
was shackled to Solomon and Geary held his arm.
Superintendent Cusack led.
Emery promptly took the bench.
was bustle in a moment but in another the dignified silence of the
court room prevailed.
crowds surged about the prisoner. "Czolgosz, have you a lawyer?"
asked Mr. Penney.
or five times he repeated the question.
prisoner never spoke and stood with eyes on the attorneys' table
in front of him.
have been indicted for murder in the first degree. Do you want a
do you want a lawyer?" asked Judge Emery.
prisoner stubbornly refused to answer.
officers told him the judge was speaking and Mr. Penney repeated
prisoner, still stubbornly refusing to say whether he wanted a lawyer,
Judge Emery asked the officers if they knew whether the prisoner
had had any counsel. The officers shook their heads in the negative.
Mr. Penney suggested that in view of the prisoner's refusal to answer,
counsel should be assigned to advise with him upon the subject of
his plea. Judge Emery then stated that the Erie County Bar Association
had considered the matter and had suggested the names of two men
of high character. Judge Emery said that after seriously considering
the question, he had decided to adopt the suggestion of the Bar
Association. "Therefore," said he, "the court assigns
Hon. Loran L. Lewis and Hon. Robert C. Titus as your counsel."
are former supreme court justices.
Emery then asked the officers to notify the attorneys. Mr. Penney
said he would do so or have it done. All this time the prisoner
remained silent, shifting his head from side to side with his eyes
cast upon the floor. He was then shackled to Detectives Geary and
Sullivan, who started out of the court room with him.
crowd surged after them, but found the doors barred by four patrolmen.
Outside the court room the prisoner and detectives were surrounded
by Capt. Regan and twelve patrolmen, G. N. Mitchell, jailer, and
several deputy sheriffs. He was hurried downstairs, then down the
stairway to the basement to the entrance to the tunnel, and taken
to the jail.
instant he left the door burly policemen barred the way, and no
one else in the room was allowed to go out until the assassin had
been taken to the lower floor and was safely on his way back to
the jail by the underground route.
[Source: Buffalo Commercial,
September 16, 1901. The text of the article is reproduced here in