Schmidt Jury, After 32 Hours, Dismissed
Stood 10 to 2 for Conviction When Judge Foster Gave Up Hope of Verdict.
The jury which tried Hans Schmidt for the murder of Anna Aumuller failed to agree. At 10:10 o’clock last night, after the jury had deliberated for thirty-two hours and forty-four minutes, Judge Foster decided that it was hopeless to wait longer for a verdict. He discharged the jury and remanded Schmidt back to the Tombs.
Schmidt maintained the same attitude he has displayed all through the trial, and through the exciting moments of yesterday, when time after time the jury filed into the box, there was suspense born of an expected verdict, only to be dispelled by the words of the foreman, “We still fail to agree.”
It is understood that ten of the Jurymen wanted to convict, and that two, William A. McAuliffe and John Grivich, doubted Schmidt’s sanity and wanted to acquit on the grounds of insanity.
Judge judge Foster had hoped that the jury would agree. The judge retires from the bench at midnight tonight, the present was a notable trial, and he had hoped to see it to a finish before he takes off the ermine.
The Jury had a hard time of it. Heated arguments and personal quarrels were frequent. In the morning, when the jury filed into the court room for the second time, Foreman Lawrence Ottinger hinted at the facts in his statements to the judge.
Mr. Ottinger to explain that the thing that troubled the jury was based on the veracity of a witness, and also on facts. Several jurors looked at No. 8, William A. McAuliffe, and Judge Foster asked him if there was any question of low, or of fact that he could clear up.
“I have nothing to ask,” said McAuliffe. “My mind is perfectly clear. There is no need for me to ask questions.”
Judge Foster then sent the jury back. They came into the court room again at 5:46, with two questions written for the judge.
“Can we bring in a conditional verdict, and what consideration would you give to a sincere prayer from the jury?”
Judge Foster explained the only three possible verdicts and added that the jury might make any recommendation it saw fit. “But,” he added, “in this case, if you find the defendant guilty there would be only one course for me.”
Twice during the day Juror Walter C. Wyman, an elderly real estate broker, was too ill to continue the discussion. The second time an ambulance surgeon were summoned.
Schmidt Jury, After 32 Hours, Dismissed, The Sun, New York, 31 December 1913, page 1, column 4.