100 YEARS AGO IN THE SARATOGIAN
Friday, Feb. 15, 1918. Pearl Marcellus is sentenced to a minimum of 50 months in Auburn state prison for the November 1 killing of John Foles in Rock City Falls, The Saratogian reports.
The 17 year old Marcellus was convicted yesterday of second-degree manslaughter. She shot Foles after the aggressive suitor broke into her home and refused to leave. The case attracted scandalized attention because of the depraved indifference apparently shown by Marcellus and her friend Margaret Seelye, who left for a double date without notifying anyone of the shooting, though Marcellus took the time to change into a dress unstained by blood.
The closest thing Marcellus showed to emotion during the trial was when she appeared “smilingly unconcerned” about the proceedings. A reporter in the Ballston Spa courtroom notes that “She showed no more emotion when she was sentenced than she did during the short trial.”
Defense attorney Clarence B. Kilmer asks that Marcellus be sent to the Albion reform school for women instead of prison, but district attorney Charles B. Andrus retorts that Albion “presents worse conditions than a state prison.” Judge Lawrence B. McKelvey sentences her to “not less than four years and two months and not more than seven years and four months” at Auburn.
Also sentenced today is former Mechanicville policeman Dennis Nolan, who was convicted of manslaughter last Tuesday for the April 7 killing of Michael Haggerty during a scuffle on the Tenendaho Creek bridge. The men had gotten into an argument over the world war one day after the U.S. declared war on Germany, with Nolan calling Haggerty a German spy.
Defense attorney William T. Moore presents a petition from 1,560 Mechanicville residents asking that McKelvey suspend Nolan’s sentence. “Nolan had always been a good citizen except when he was drinking,” Moore says, “and he had not taken a drop of liquor since the crime.” Nolan’s fight with Haggerty started at Jeremiah Lynch’s saloon.
Andrus tells the court that “not even fifteen residents of Mechanicville would have signed their names to the petition had it not been for Nolan’s wife and children.” McKelvey thinks it over for half an hour before sentencing Nolan a minimum of 3.5 years and a maximum of ten years, four months in the Clinton penitentiary in Dannemora.
The Frankoni Girls and their “Studies in Art” headline the live vaudeville bill at the Broadway Theatre this weekend, while Harold Lockwood stars in the Metro picture, “The Avenging Trail.”
Arthur Ashley stars in “The Marriage Market” at the Palace, while the Lyric offers a double feature of “The Angel Factory” and “The Hidden Hand.”