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Horrible Attempt At Murder
Final Result in Death
About one o’clock on the morning of the 15th inst. there was perpetuated, in front of Chancey’s hotel in our town one of the most cowardly attempts to commit a double murder that ever darkened the criminal records of the Pacific Coast. The facts as near as we can gather them are about as follows: John P. Sullivan and wife were returning home from a party given at the Centennial Hotel in company with Mrs. Sullivan’s mother. In front of Chancey’s hotel they passed A.T. Weddle, who, without giving them any warning, drew a revolver and placing it against Mrs. Sullivan, fired, inflicting a deep wound on the right side of the spine just below the shoulder blade. At the report of the pistol Mrs. Sullivan fell, and before Mr. Sullivan could turn fairly around he too was shot the ball striking him on the left side on the lower abdomen and ranging from left to right. Though stunned by the wound, Sullivan with characteristic grit turned upon the would be murderer and first striking him with his fist he gathered up some stones and chased the cowardly scoundrel half way across the street before he fell.
They wer both immediately taken up and carried home. Dr’s. Cromwell and Drake were immediately summoned and proceeded to examine the wounds, which unfortunately, were of such a nautre as to prevent the finding of the balls by probing. The wounds are considered very dangerous, and at the present writing the appearances are that both will be fatal. Mrs. Sullivan appears to suffer the most, the right leg being paralyzed.
Weddle after doing the shooting ran around by back streets and went directly to the Sheriff’s residence and gave himself up, saying as he gave up the pistol, “here, take this and turn the key on me tonight. Do what you please with me; hang me if you want to.” In response to the Sheriff’s query if he had used it, he said; “Yes, I’ve used it, you will find out in the morning what I have done.” The only motive for the deed appears to have been malice and jelousy. It seems that previous to Mrs. Sullivan’s first marriage, Weddle sought her hand in marriage but was refused. After the death of Dr. Baker he renewed his attentions but was persistently refused. At this he took umbrage and swore that he would send her to the bone yard and since her second marriage he has repeated the threat a dozen times to Mr. Bud Chapman and others. His threats were so often and of such dangerous character that he was arrested a few months since and examined as to his sanity, but was discharged. To show the more plainly his intent in the matter, a short time previous to the shooting he went to the office of the Centenial Hotel and asked Bud Chapman if Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan were at the party. Being informed that they were he said he guessed he would go up awhile; not having a ticket he was refused admission and came back, replying to Mr. Chapman’s banter that he did not dance long, “there is too many there for my dance.”
Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan are both well known in our county. Mr. Sullivan being the proprietor of an extensive saddlery and harness establishment here. Mrs. Sullivan was formerly the wife of the late lamented Dr. R.M. Baker of this place, by whom she was the mother of three beautiful children, three boys and a girl aged erspectively about seven, five and three years.
Weddle, the fiend who perpetrated this distardly Crime, is an insignificant looking dried up weasen faced, hump backed, erratic, crack brained individual aged probably 45 years, who has lived in Union for ten or twelve years, most of the time having been employed as cook at the Union Hotel; lately he has been attending to Wells, Fargo and Co’s express during mr. Hanneh’s absence and also assisting Mr. Eaton in and about his store. persons who seem to know him best and who have placed the greatest confidence in him are loudest in setting up the plea of insanity, which will no doubt be urged in defense of the horrible crime of which there is no question of his guilt, but whether that well worn plea will save his neck is yet a question of time.
Since writing the above Mr. Sullivan died about 11 1/2 o’clock and a Coroner’s Jury is now investigating the case with E.S. McComas presiding as Justice of the Peace. Mrs. Sullivan is very low with no hopes of her recovery. The probabilities now are that they will both be buried in the same grave. The Improved order of Red Men have charge of the corpse of Mr. Sullivan.
Mountain Sentinel, Saturday
May 18, 1878