Conclusion of a Poisoning trial.
--The trial of Mrs. Sarah Ann Healey
and R. S. Richardson
, at Portsmouth, N. H.
, on an indictment for murder in the first degree, in having poisoned Stephen Healey
, husband of the first named, at Auburn
, on the 6th of March, was brought to a close on Saturday night, the jury returning a verdict of acquittal in Mrs. Healey
's case, and guilty of murder in the second degree against Richardson
was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment.
The Manchester American remarks as follows upon the trial:
"The point on which the trial turned was, we apprehend, a piece of evidence introduced as refuting testimony, by the Government
, Friday night. It purported to be a letter addressed by Richardson
to one Carlos Seavey
, requesting him to come into Court and swear that at the time he (Seavey
) worked for Healey
in '59, he furnished Healey
with some strychnine, and urging him to be the witness' friend, for he needed a friend, and could only be saved by this course, provided Mrs. Langmaid
did not own up. Seavey
did not appear to testify, but this document was found upon his person, and although without signature, was evidently in Richardson
's hand-writing.--It took the accused and their counsel completely by surprise.
"The verdict gives Richardson
a home in the State Prison
The fact of Mrs. Healey
being a woman in feeble health may have worked upon the sympathies of the jury, and contributed in a measure to her acquittal.--Again, there was no evidence that she had purchased strychnine on or near the time of the death of her husband, although she had threatened to put him out of the way, at different times, if he did not stop drinking.
"The trial has been conducted with a great deal of ability on both sides.
In some respects it is the most important murder trial ever held in this country, and it is similar in importance to the great Palmer
case, tried in England
It is the first strychnine case in New England
, or at least the first in which the testimony of chemical experts has been depended upon."