Four Generations

Four Generations
Loretta, Don, Vicki with Andy, Grace and Clarence Hilb

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rigney Pleads Guilty to Charge of Murder

TIP #7: By reading these older articles you will notice and learn about the justice system then and the major differences between then and now.

Arthur Rigney plead guilty to a murder charge before Judge Edgar Eldridge in the circuit court on March 27, 1933.  The judge did not immediately sentence him but scheduled the next morning to hear evidence in the case. 

Before accepting Arthur's plea the judge appointed Palmer Byrne as Arthur's attorney.  The judge reminded Arthur that if he plead guilty the court was mandated to sentence him to a minimum of 14 years and possibly life imprisonment or the death penalty. Arthur confirmed knowledge and plead guilty. 

Palmer Byrne advised that Arthur was going to take the stand and it would take 2 days to present evidence in this case.

Harley Patterson a co-worker testified that Arthur was drunk the night of the shooting.  W O Rigney brother of Arthur testified about Arthur's unhappy married life. He alleged that the parents of Arthur's wife interfered in their life. He advised Arthur was a good provider. He said that shortly before the marriage Arthur advised his father he did not love the girl and did not want to marry. The girls mother and step-father owned allot of land around Hannibal Missouri and the girl insisted on going with Arthur.  Shortly after they married Arthur started to build them their own house. Once the foundation was completed his mother in law told Arthur her daughter would never be allowed to reside there. The wife and mother often went out to shows together and Arthur would have to go out alone. When the family all moved to Syracuse New York, Arthur and his wife separated and Arthur returned to Hannibal and then to Ottawa.  Many character witnesses were called and they advised Arthur never had been seen drunk before that night. 

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