Amasa J Foulke Murder Trials

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Murder Trials
Amasa J. Foulke

Home Amasa J. Foulke Page   Sources  
Murder Trial Participants Court Records Trials Timeline 2nd Trial Newspaper Accounts Notes from Newspaper Accounts of 2nd Trial

 

Background

Amasa's wife, Lucetta, was Murdered on the night of 16 Nov 1873 -

Amasa was accused of the murder and stood trial in February of 1874.  Amasa was convicted and sentenced to life in prison at this first trial. 

He was granted a new trial on 24 Feb 1874 which took place in February of 1875 where he was found not guilty and set free.

First:  Read an Article from a local history book about the murder - another account in a separate history book S7

2nd:  See Amasa's Page for his timeline/biography which will put the murder and trials in perspective with the rest of his life

3rd:  Take a look at the Timeline  of the Court Proceedings, (Below)

4th:  Browse the offerings on the Court Records Page

5th:  Take a look at the Newspaper Coverage of the 2nd trial

 

-- I have been unable to locate any newspaper coverage of the first trial -
-- The court records contain none of the testimony given during either trial

 

Timeline

16 Nov 1873 (Sunday) Lucetta Carlisle Foulke ID0098 murdered in her home  S7, S11, Article  Another Account
1st Trial  
22 Nov 1873 (Saturday) Vol M, page 144
-- Amasa applies for a writ of Habeas Corpus -
-- Court appoints Joel Stafford and David Moss to prosecute the case against Amasa
29 Nov 1873 (Saturday) Amasa is given Bail in the amount of $5000.00 and released from custody - Vol M, page 177
6 Feb 1874 (Friday) Court issues summoning of 40 men from which to select 12 men to serve as jurors Vol M, page 416
10 Feb 1874 (Tuesday) Amasa moves to quash the indictment - denied - Court submits the cause to the Jury - Jury members named - Vol M, page 437
11 Feb 1874 (Wednesday) Trial continues to the next day - Vol M, page 439
12 Feb 1874 (Thursday) Trial continues to the next day - Vol M, page 440
13 Feb 1874 (Friday) Trial continues to the next day - Vol M, page 440
14 Feb 1874 (Saturday) Case given to the jury - court adjourns until Monday Morning - Vol M, page 442
16 Feb 1874 (Monday) Jury continues to deliberate - Vol M, page 443
18 Feb 1874 (Wednesday) Jury renders verdict:  Guilty of murder in the first degree - punishment to be life in States prison - Jury Polled - Amasa gives notice he will file a motion for a new trial - Vol M, page 455  [S16] [S17]
20 Feb 1874 (Friday) Amasa files a motion for a new trial - Vol M, page 461
23 Feb 1874 (Monday) Counter affidavit from Prosecuting attorneys for the motion for a new trial - continued - Vol M, page 466
24 Feb 1874 (Tuesday) Vol M, page 468
-- Court grants Amasa a new trial -
-- Court orders that Amasa enter into a recognizance in the sum of five thousand dollars [$97,500 in 2008 dollars] - Jesse M Foulke, John [Baker] Foulke and William F McShane put up the bond
-- Answer indictment for murder on the 4th Monday of April 1874 in the courthouse in Noblesville
27 April 1874 (Monday) Amasa files a motion for a continuance - Court adjourns - Vol N, page 1  -  Vol N, page 2
28 April 1874 (Tuesday) Vol N, page 53  -  Vol N, page 54
-- Court continues this cause until the next term of the court - First Monday of September 1874 - Court House in Noblesville
-- Court orders that Amasa enter into a recognizance in the sum of five thousand dollars
-- William F McShane and John Foulke put up the bond
19 Aug 1874  (Wednesday) Death of Daughter Alice Foulke, ID2127
18 Sept 1874 (Friday) Vol N, page 455
-- Amasa requests, and the Court grants, a continuance -
-- Continued until the first day of the next term of the Court
-- Court orders Amasa to enter into a recognizance in the sum of five thousand dollars
-- John Foulke & Jesse Foulke put up the bond
9 Oct 1874 Newspaper Article - Discusses the judges and lawyers for "The Foulke Case"  S8,
24 Nov 1874 (Tuesday) Vol Q, page 2, 3
-- Cause is continued until the next term of the Court
-- Court orders Amasa to enter into a recognizance in the sum of five thousand dollars
-- Jesse Foulke puts up bond
2nd Trial  
9 Feb 1875 (Tuesday) Vol Q, page 98  -  Newspaper Coverage
-- Prosecutors:  Joel Stafford and William Garner
-- Defense Attorneys:  Kane, Shirts & Evans & Stephenson & Jonathan W. Gordon
-- Jury:  Eliah G. Brattain, Milton Hadley, William M. Osborne, George Armentrout, James A. Brandom, Alfred Hess, J. W. Barnes, W. W. Reynolds, Benjamin Lennen, Robert Stout, W.F. Pearce & George P. Huntzinger
-- Trial begins, and is continued to the next day
10 Feb 1875 (Wednesday) Case continues until the next day - Vol Q, page 100  -  Newspaper Coverage
11 Feb 1875 (Thursday) Case continues until the next day - Vol Q, page 101  -  Newspaper Coverage
12 Feb 1875 (Friday) Case continues until the next day - Vol Q, page 102  -  Newspaper Coverage
13 Feb 1875 (Saturday) -- Jury has heard all the evidence and goes to deliberate their verdict - Vol Q, page 102
-- Charge of Judge Craven to Jury - Newspaper Coverage
14 Feb 1875 (Sunday) Vol Q, page 103  -  Newspaper Coverage
-- Jury:  "We the Jury find the defendant not guilty" James A Brandom, Foreman
-- Court releases Amasa from his recognizance
   
Confession of Tom Baker (Barker)
24 March 1876 News Article - Confession of murderer of Amasa's Wife - S9,
25 March 1876 News Article "Bed Side Confession of a Murderer" S15,
29 March 1876 News Article - S13,
30 March 1876 News Article - Confession of Tom Baker - S12,
5 Apr 1876 News Article - "Confession of murderer is all bosh" - S10,
   

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Sources
 

Source Citation

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S1 Newspaper:  Noblesville Ledger [Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana] - 12 Feb 1875, page 1 - Acc000889 - Link
S2 Newspaper:  Noblesville Ledger [Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana] - 19 Feb 1875, page 3 - Acc000888 - Link
S3 Hamilton County, Indiana, Hamilton County Circuit Court Civil Order Books Case # 51 Murder, State of Indiana vs. Amasa J Foulke,  microfilm copies, (: Viewed, 30 January 2010).  Acc1396
            Repository:  Indiana State Library/Genealogy Div: Circuit Court Complete Records
            Ind 1-029C-18
            Hamilton County Circuit Court Civil Order Books
            Vol M: Sept 1873-Feb 1874
            Vol N: Apr 1874-Sept 1874
            Ind 1-029C-20
            Hamilton County Circuit Court Civil Order Books
            Vol Q: Nov 1874-Sept 1877
 
S4 Book:  Haines, John F.  History of Hamilton County, Indiana.  Indianapolis, Ind:  B F Bowen, 1915, page 395 - Bk2922  - (Doc2088.pdf)

A Celebrated Case
   On the night of November 16, 1873, at her country home between Cicero and Sheridan, a few miles north of Deming, Mrs. Lucetta Foulke, while sleeping between her two small children, was shot through the breast and mortally wounded.  She lingered some hours, suffering intensely, until relieved by death.  Her husband, Amasa J. Foulke, twenty-five years old, a short time after the crime was committed, called upon Dr. Amos Pettijohn, at Deming, to have a flesh wound in his forearm dressed and reported to the doctor and others that robbers had entered his home, shot and killed his wife, and that in contact with the criminals, he received the injury mentioned.  A whirlwind of excitement swept the community and county, and crowds visited the cottage where the murdered wife and mother lay.  Search was quickly made for the alleged robbers, but they were never found.  Suspicion rested sternly upon the husband.  He was indicted and tried, the jury returning a verdict of guilty with life imprisonment.  Defendant made a motion for a new trial, which the court sustained.  On the second hearing the public still manifested a deep interest and the old court house was thronged, although it was rumored that the building was in danger of falling down.  At the end of a bitter contest the second jury acquitted Foulke.  Public sentiment was divided, with probably the majority view against the defendant, and sharp complaint was made that the court's instructions were partial to him. 
Google Books
S5 Newspaper:  Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, Marion county, Indiana) "Murder a Mysterious Case the Trial of Amasa Foulke Charged with the Murder of His Wife" Date: Monday, February 15, 1875 Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, Indiana) Volume: XXIII Issue: 229 Page: 8. www.genealogybank.com, accessed 18 Nov 2007.  Acc000975/Doc3845.pdf  
S6 Book:  Helm, T B. History of Hamilton County, Indiana, Reprint . Chicago, Evansville, IN: Kingman Brothers, Unigraphic, 1880, 1976 - Bk1604 Archive.org - Read Online
S7 Book:  Campbell, Frank S. The Story of Hamilton County Indiana. Noblesville, Indiana: Hudler Press, Inc., 1962., page 49. Bk2877

   One noted murder case went through two trials while he [Judge Hervey Craven] was judge.  The victim, Mrs. Lucetta Foulke, lived in the courtry nrth of Deming, between Sheridan and Cicero.  She was shot through the breast while sleeping between her two small children, but did not die for several hours.
   A short time after the murder her husband, Amasa J. Foulke, went to Dr. Amos Pettijohn at Deming to have a wound in his forearm dressed.  He said he was injured by the robbers who shot and killed his wife.  An immediate search failed to locate any robbers.  Excited crowds visited the house where the murder was committed.
   The husband was suspected and indicted.  The jury for the trial returned a verdict of guilty with life imprisonment recommended.  The court sustained a motion by the defendant for a new trial.  Crows thronged the court house a second time despite rumors that the building was not safe.  The second jury acquitted the twenty-five year old Foulke.  Probably the majority of the public were against him an felt the instructions by the court to the jury were partial to the defendant.
 
S8 Newspaper Article: "Baker's Corner Precinct, etc." Noblesville Ledger, Friday 9 Oct 1874, page 1. Acc000897/Doc0780.pdf

Extract: The Independent Attempts, from a communication signed "Jackson Township," to create the impression that J. R. Gray had taken it upon himself to secure the establishment of a precinct at Baker's Corner, in Adams township, at the request of the Foulke family. This precinct was established by the commissioners at their last session upon the petition of thirty citizens in the immediate vicinity of the place. They are old men, many of them, and good citizens; and what is more, many of them are Democrats, Reformers, and Anti-Secrets. The petitioners working in the matter recommended the appointment of John B. Foulke as Inspector. Mr. Gray and Mr. Hall were both opposed to the establishment of the precinct, offering as a reason that two precincts in a township that size was certainly enough, and an unnecessary expense was incurred by making another. Mr. Gray took it upon himself to notify such of the citizens of Adams township as he could find upon the streets, and asked them to come up and oppose it. Some of whom did so. But the Board finding no special opposition from the township, and through a desire to accommodate the petitioners, established the precinct. And if anything, it is against the interest of the Republican party.
Mr. Gray has repeatedly said that no lawyer should be permitted to extortion off of the county as Dave Moss attempts to do every time he gets a chance. That the tendency to employ lawyers in criminal cases at such enormous figures, as has been practiced in our courts, is wrong, and ought to be abandoned. That when an attorney is appointed to attend to criminal cases, a just compensation only should be allowed by the courts, and not such fees as private parties might pay. Judge Craven appointed Moss to attend to the Foulke  case [Amasa Foulke, ID0097] and after the trial he referred the further prosecution to the commissioners. The Board tried to employ Moss to continue before they spoke to any one else. And they considered his fee exorbitant and could get no concessions form him; they then employed Judge Garver & Losey for less than half the amount Moss demanded. They considered Garver & Losey competent, and did not propose to allow further extortion upon the treasury. Of course, the Independent is grieved that its corps o' editors could not get another grab.

 
 
S9 News Article. Amasa Foulke. The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana), 24 March 1876, Page 4, Col. 3, "State News". http://www.newspapers.com/image/#34491264  , accessed 15 Aug 2013. Acc002876/.Doc1836.pdf

Extract:
State News, 2nd paragraph:
Tom Barker, sentenced to the Penitentiary from Howard county for two years for grand larceny, but afterwards granted a new trial by the Supreme Court, and on a change of venue went to Madison county, which resulted in a commutation of his sentence to thirty days in the county jail, has made a confession, on his death-bed, of the murder of Mrs. Foulke, over a year ago, at which time her husband, Amasa Foulke, was arrested for wife murder, tried and sentenced to prison for life, but acquitted upon a second trial. It seems that Barker was one of the number who attempted to rob Amasa Foulke, on that eventful night, and Barker shot Mrs. Foulke to prevent her giving the alarm, he fearing that she had recognized him.

Doc1836.pdf
S10 News Article. Amasa Foulke. The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana), 5 Apr 1876, Page 2, Col. 4, State News, Paragraph 9. http://www.newspapers.com/image/#34491302  , Accessed 15 Aug 2013. Acc002877/Doc1837.pdf

Extract:
Prosecutor Stafford, of Noblesville, states that the telegrams about the dying story of Tom Barker, relative to the killing of Mrs. Amasa Foulke by himself, are all bosh.

Doc1837.pdf
S11 News Article. Amasa Foulke. The Indianapolis News (Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana), 24 Nov 1873, Page 1, Col. 5, State News, Paragraph 8. http://www.newspapers.com/image/#35079112  , Accessed 15 Aug 2013. Acc002878/Doc1838.pdf

Extract:
The wife of Amasa Foulke, near Cicero, Hamilton County, was killed in her bed on the morning of the 15th, by a pistol shot. Her husband, who occupied a lounge near the bed, stated that he was awakened by the report, and sprang up to see two men in the room. He pursued them to the kitchen where one of them shot him through the arm and then they escaped. The grand jury it seems doubt Mr. Foulke's story, and have found a true bill against him for murder.

Doc1838.pdf
S12 News Article.  Amasa Foulke.  The Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Wayne County, Indiana), 30 March 1876, page 3, Col. 4.  http://www.newspapers.com/image/#15128889, accessed 26 Apr 2014. 

Transcription:
   A year or so ago the wife of Amasa Foulke, a Quaker citizen of Hamilton County, was found dead in her bed.  Mr. Foulke was arrested and charged with the murder.  Upon trial he was convicted and sent to the penitentiary for life.  A new trial was granted in course of time and he was acquitted.  It now transpires that one Tom Baker on his death bed, confesses to having murdered Mrs. Foulke.  Baker was one of a number of men who attempted to rob Foulke, and he shot the wife to prevent her giving the alarm, because he thought she recognized him.  This confession relieves Mr. Foulke of this terrible suspicion which has been hanging over him, and is a strong argument against hasty convictions.  Amasa Foulke is a brother of William Foulke, of the firm of N. S. Leeds & Co., of this city.  Mr. Foulke's Family friends always believed him innocent but public sentiment, educated by the newspapers of Noblesville, was against him at the time.
Doc2124.pdf
S13 News Article.  Amasa Foulke.  The Indiana Herald (Huntington, Huntington County, Indiana), 29 March 1876, Page 3, Col. 3.  http://www.newspapers.com/image/#40066295, accessed 26 Apr 2014.

Transcription:
   The danger of hasty conviction upon circumstantial evidence alone receives another strong proof in a special from Noblesville,  Some time ago the wife of Amasa Foulke, a Quaker citizen of Hamilton County, was found dead in bed.  The husband was tried for the crime of her murder and convicted.  He secured a new trial and was acquitted.  Now a fellow named Tom Barker, on his deathbed, confess to have been the murderer of Mrs. Foulke.
Doc2125.pdf
S14 News Article.  Hoosier Bluebeard. Three Trials for Wife Killing in Hamilton County - Foulke Gets a New Trial
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 1874 Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, Indiana) Volume: XXII Issue: 185 Page: 5. www.genealogy.com, accessed 21 Jan 2017, Doc3971.pdf

Transcription:
HOOSIER BLUEBEARD.
Three Trials for Wife Killing In Hamilton County - Foulke Gets a New Trial - Jackson on the Rack - Another Getting Ready
(From an Occasional Correspondent of the Sentinel)
   Noblesville, Ind., Feb. 24, 1874. -- Judge Craven has granted a new trial to Amasa J. Foulke, found guilty of murdering his wife at this term of the Hamilton county circuit court, on the ground, first; that two jurors had in violation of the instructions of the court, taken notes of the evidence given before them, as asserted by two affidavits, filed with the court, and not denied by the State.  Second; that according to the affidavits of three persons, a juror, Joseph White, had formed and expressed an opinion and that expressed opinion, was that "he could not see how the defendant could be innocent."  Third, that the evidence, of the jury was not sufficient to sustain the verdict, and from the evidence he did not believe the defendant guilty of the crime with with he was charged.  The court made an exhaustive review of the evidence and facts relied upon by the state for conviction, both in their argument before the jury and in their opposition to the motion for a new trial, with the above result.  The defendant was recognized to appear at the next term of the court in the sum of $5,000.  The case of Foulke having been disposed of the case of Jackson, indicted for the crime of murdering his wife was called, a jury impaneled, and the evidence is now being heard.  There are three persons in Hamilton county now charged with the crime of slaughtering their wives; one waiting a new trial, one upon trial, and one awaiting a preliminary examination before a magistrate.  The attorneys that were defending Foulke are now representing the state.  For the defendant, Messrs. Moss & Drissal, Evans & Stephenson, Thompson & Thompson; for the state, Prosecuting Attorneys Stafford, Thomas Kane, Augustus F. Staats and William Grover,  The opinion of Judge Craven in the Foulke case is approved by every well read lawyer for sound law, as the present supreme court reversed the case of McDonald cheek for the first reason stated in his opinion and the case of Mrs. Cleve for the last session as reported in 35th Indiana.
 
S15 News Article:
Date: "Death Bed Confession of A Murderer"  Saturday, March 25, 1876 Paper: Dubuque Daily Times (Dubuque, Iowa) Page: 1, Col. 6.  www.genealogybank.com, accessed 22 Jan 2017.  Doc3972.pdf

Transcription:
DEATH BED CONFESSION OF A MURDERER.
   Nashville, Ind., March 14. -- Tom Barker, who was sentenced to, Penitentiary from this county for two years for grand larceny, but was afterward granted a new trial by the Supreme Court, and on a change of venue went to Madison county, which resulted in a commutation of his sentence to thirty days in the County Jail, has made a confession on his death-bed of the murder of Mrs. Foulke over a year ago, at which time her husband, Amasa Foulke, was arrested for wife murder, tried, and sentenced to prison for life, but was acquitted upon a second trial.  It seems that Barker was one of the number who attempted to rob Amasa Foulke on that eventful night, and Barker shot Mrs. Foulke to prevent her giving the alarm, he fearing that she had recognized him.
 
S16 News Article:
"Amasa J. Foulke ..." Indianapolis Evening News, 19 Feb 1874, Page 2, Col. 5. Contributed by IUPUI University Library. (https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=INN18740219-01.1.2&srpos=5&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-Amasa+Foulke------) accessed 28 Jan 2017. Doc3984.pdf - EN0699 -

Transcription:
Amasa J. Foulke was yesterday convicted of the murder of his wife in Hamilton county last November, and sentenced to the peitentiary for life.  His wife was found dead in her bed, and he claimed that two men entered the room in the night, shot her and made their escape, and he was wounded in attempting to capture them.
Doc3984-001.jpg
S17 News Article:
"Amasa Foulke..."  Richmond (Indiana) Palladium (Weekly), Vol. 43, No. 50, 21 Feb 1874, page 3, col. 2.  (https://newspapers.library.in.gov/cgi-bin/indiana?a=d&d=RPW18740221.1.3&srpos=8&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-Amasa+Foulke------), accessed 28 Feb 2107.  EN0701

Transcription:
   Amasa Foulke, who married a niece of Enos Thomas, Esq., of our city, residing in Hamilton county, after a trial in the Circuit Court of that county, of about one week's duration, on the charge of murdering his wife by shooting her, was, on Wednesday last, sentenced to the Penitentiary for life, the jury pronouncing him guilty of "Murder in the first degree."
Doc3985.jpg
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