11/09/1917 - ALL FOUR DEFENDANTS COMMITTED FOR TRIAL
Doctor Firmly Convinced Injuries Were Not Cause by a Fall
Blow That Would Have Been Two-Base Hit or Home Run in Baseball
After hearing the medical testimony of Drs. M. H. Langs and J. R. Parry, Magistrate Jelfs yesterday afternoon committed Herbert Asselstine, Walter Scott, J. J. McAuliffe and Harry Smith for trial on a charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of Dr. MacRobbie. Both doctors reaffirmed their belief that the deceased doctor could not have received the wounds which caused his death by falling, but that they must have been inflicted with some blunt instrument. The piece of moulding bearing the blood stains revealed nothing, as, examined for finger prints, the wood was too hard and dry.
Detective Sayer was the first witness called. He gave similar evidence to that submitted at the inquest.
“When you went upstairs did you notice anything against which a man might slip and then knock his head against,” queried the magistrate.
“I did not see anything.”
“Has that been examined for finger prints?” asked M. J. O’Relly, indicating the piece of blood-stained moulding of bushing.
“What was the result?”
“The wood was too hard and dry to obtain any result.”
Dr. Langs described the nature of the wounds after he found the body of Dr. MacRobbie.
He again stated that the wounds on the head could not have been caused by one blow or by falling on the floor. The imprint on the membrane was that of a rounded object.
“He could not get them by a fall?”
“Not unless he fell fifteen or twenty feet.”
“Would he have got them then?”
“Not unless he had fallen twice.”
The doctor was emphatic that the wounds could not be caused by an accident “I saw a man knocked forty feet by a train, hit a telegraph pole and then not have as bad a fracture. With a baseball bat, I think this would have been between a two-base hit and a home run.”
“It was a home run for poor Mac,” muttered Mr. Bell.
Dr. Langs continued by saying that, had the doctor fallen, the fractures would have been at a different angle. “One blow was probably struck with his head jammed on the floor,” he declared.
“A blow on the right side will cause a fracture on the left sometimes?” inquired M. J. O’Relly.
“That sometimes happens.”
“But in this case there was an open, gaping wound where the fracture was?
“Did you find anything on the left side?”
“Nothing but that his face had been in contact with the floor.”
“Who was at the autopsy besides yourself and Dr. Parry?”
“I think Drs. MacLoghlin and McIlwraith.”
“You did not make out your report the same day?”
“I took the notes there and made the report out later.”
“Who suggested you exhuming the body?”
“I think it was the coroner.”
“I thought so.”
“You said that for several days you thought it was an accident?”
“I did almost until the time of the inquest.”
“Who suggested about going to the slaughter house?”
“I did. I wanted to see about the blood clotting.”
“Would you dispute a doctor who would say that about sixty percent of fractured skull are due to falls?”
“I would not want to say it was not correct.”
“Did you think the experiment of the cattle was a good comparison?”
“Yes, a rough one.”
“A pretty rough one, indeed! Did you expect to see the cattle fall much the same as a man?”
Dr. J. R. Parry was then called. He also thought two blows had been struck, but whether standing, sitting or lying down he would not say. Asked why the body was exhumed, he explained it was because he was undecided about the wound going through the pericranium.
“Could he have fallen and got those wounds?”
“He could have fallen and got wounds, but not those wounds.”
“It is those wounds we are talking about,” said the Crown-
Dr. Jaffrey was called and testified that it was human blood on the moulding.
“As I said this morning I do not think there is sufficient evidence to hold these men,” contended C. W. Bell.
“Well, I am going to send the case up,” answered the Magistrate, and the prisoners were marched off another stage of their journey.
It is the intention of counsel to seek bail through the county judge.