Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 17

November 17, 1914 – Mrs. Charlotte Sharpless was indicted today by the Hennepin County Grand Jury for murder in the first degree in connection with the killing of her husband Leaming Sharpless on the evening of Nov. 14.

Dr. and Mrs. A. W. Wright, who live in the apartment above the Sharpless’, were the first witnesses to appear before the Grand Jury. They told of being called by Mrs. Sharpless when she said she discovered her husband lying on a couch in their flat with a sword thrust through his heart. Their testimony was corroborated by Mrs. W. H. Harris; Ada Willis, Mrs. Wright’s sister; Fred Crisman, janitor at the place, and Crisman’s wife.

They told of finding the blood-stained sword standing near the couch on which Sharpless lay and of finding bloody clothing in the Sharpless apartment and in the alley nearby. Captain Galvin and Mathias Baldwin, first assistant county attorney, testified as to conversations with Mrs. Sharpless after her arrest. They declared she said she was in their apartment practically all evening, except for a few moments when she went to take out the garbage and again for a few moments when she visited the attic. 
When she returned the last time, the woman said that her husband lay on the couch apparently uninjured.

Leaming Sharpless*

Police Detectives Radclift and Bezanson also testified to conversations with Mrs. Sharpless. Dr. Gilbert Seashore, coroner, told of the nature of the wounds on Sharpless’ body and stated that it would have been impossible for the deceased to have committed suicide. Mrs. Sharpless will be arraigned before Judge Leary tomorrow morning.

While the Grand Jury was hearing Mrs. Sharpless’ case, the funeral of her husband was being held. Services were held at the home of Louis Sharpless, the brother of Leaming Sharpless. Mrs. Sharpless was denied permission to attend the funeral by the police in the absence of a court order. The woman had asked to be allowed to go to the burial.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Witnesses Tell How They Found Sharpless’ Body. His Wife, They Said, Declared She Discovered Him With Sword Through Heart. Mrs. Sharpless Not Allowed to Attend Funeral Held in the Afternoon.”; Nov. 18, 1914; p. 1.
*The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; Nov. 18, 1914; p. 1.

Leaming Sharpless murdered by saber; wife in next room hears nothing; see Nov. 14, 2015 blog.

Blood-stained imprint of fingers on the sword that killed Leaming Sharpless may be the principal means of determining the murderer; see Nov. 15, 2015.


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