The Prosecution's Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EVIDENCE.

RELATED TESTIMONY

 The Murder Weapon

  • pieces of a gun or pistol (gun cock, tube of a percussion lock, screw head) was found near the crime scene with hair and blood stuck to one piece; some pieces found after the arrest of the Gordons
  • traced to Nicholas Gordon by Alfred Wright, agent for the Delaware & Hudson Coal Co. in Providence; purchased at auction at Tillinghast Almy's Store in Providence (recorded as purchased by N. Gorton)

The Murder Weapon

  • Gardner Luther: found some of the pieces of the gun; saw Nicholas Gordon with a gun two weeks before the murder
  • Benjamin Waterman: identified the gun pieces as belonging to Nicholas Gordon
  • Abner Sprague, Jr: saw John Gordon with the same type of gun two days before the murder near the crime scene (Abner Sprague was Amasa Sprague's cousin)
  • James Francis: identified the pieces as parts of the gun he left at Almy's Store to be sold
  • Tillinghast Almy: sold gun to Nicholas Gordon at auction; said N. Gorton in record book was the same as Nicholas Gordon
  • William Barker and Bowen Spencer: met a tall man and a short man with a gun on Plainfield Turnpike, north of the crime scene, two hours before the murder; met same two men on same road just after the time of the murder, the tall man now had the gun and the short man was without his coat; identified William Gordon as the short man

 The Coat

  • A coat with blood on it and a hole in the right elbow was found in some brush near the tracks that led away from the murder scene
  • a shirt was found in the Gordon's house which had a stain of the appearance of blood on the elbow

 The Coat

  • Susan Field: identified the coat as belonging to Nicholas, whom she had known for three years; said that John and William often borrowed clothes from Nicholas because they owned few articles of clothing themselves

 The Boots

  • a pair of wet boots found at the Gordon's house fit in the tracks that led away from the crime scene

 The Boots

  • confirmed by a member(s) of the party that searched for the evidence

 The Tracks in the Snow

  • a set of tracks led away from the crime scene to a stream; the tracks resumed on the other side of the stream and led to the backdoor of the Gordon's house

 The Tracks in the Snow

  • confirmed by a member(s) of the party that searched for the evidence

 

 

 The Conspiracy Theory

  • Nicholas Gordon's hatred of Amasa Sprague incited his brothers William and John to murder him
  • Nicholas Gordon stayed in Providence (as per his alibi) while John and William murdered Sprague in Cranston

 The Conspiracy Theory

  • Richard Knight: said Nicholas Gordon had difficulty with Amasa Sprague over the rejection for renewal of his liquor license
  • Susan Field: "I heard Nicholas say that Amasa Sprague has taken his license away from him; he would be the death of himů I'll have my revenge. I'll be the death of him."; stated that John Gordon was in the room when Nicholas said this in front of her
  • The Justices: declared the prosecution's attempt to show that threats made by Nicholas in the presence of his brothers as admissible in order to prove motive on the part of John and William

 

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