Thomas Jefferson Hoal on Trial for Murder

Kentuckiana Genealogy: Newspaper: Thomas Jefferson Hoal on Trial for Murder
By Board Administration (Admin) ( on Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 10:48 pm:

Aberdeen Weekly News, February 24, 1910, p. 1. NOTE: The item below was abbreviated from the original as noted by the ellipsis. Consider Hall as a spelling variant of Hoal.

Case of Thomas J. Hoal Comes Up in Indiana Today-His Startling Crime

Corydon, Indiana, Feb. 23-The case of Thomas Jefferson Hoal, the youthful bandit whose murderous exploits aroused the whole of southern Indiana and northern Kentucky last November, was called for trial in the Harrison circuit court here today.Hoal's trial, which was brought here on change of venue from the Floyd circuit court, is expected to occupy several weeks.
Able counsel has been retained to defend the young desperado who, during his three months' confinement in the reformatory at Jeffersonville, has become very repentant. It is expected that a plea of insanity will be made the basis of defense.

The charge upon which Hoal is to be tried is the murder of J. Hangary Fawcett, cashier of the Merchants' National Bank of New Albany. On the morning of November 11 last, young Hoal entered the bank and after commanding everybody to throw up his hands, "and get in the vault," began shooting. Cashier Fawcett died almost instantly after being shot through the neck and chest. John K. Woodward, president of the bank, was shot through the stomach and for days lingered between life and death.

Following the shooting, the murderer made his escape from the bank and jumping into an automobile that stood nearby, he commanded he negro chauffeur to drive away at full speed. The chauffeur, paralyzed by fear, failed to obey the command. Hoal then fired a shot into the negro's body, jumped from the automobile, and sped down the street. Arriving at the river front, he jumped into a skiff with the evident intention of crossing to the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. He was overtaken in midstream, however, by a party of officers who pursued him in a fast motor boat. When the murder of the bank cashier became known, there was some talk of lynching the prisoner, and he was removed for safekeeping from the police station in New Albany to the reformatory in Jeffersonville.

Special thanks to Randi Richardson

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