RD. Coffman Trial

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R. D. COFFMAN ON TRIAL EVIDENCE FOB. PROSEt BEING HEARD. Mrs. T. P. Reed, a Neighbor of the Dead Preacher, Gives Damaging Testimony Against Defen-. dant Birmingham News. Birmingham, Dec. 16.-(Special.)-The preliminary trial of R. D. Coffman, the Justice of the Peace who yesterday a week ago shot and killed Rev. J. w. Bradford at Brookslde, In the western part of the county, commenced before Justice I. H. Bonners in this city this morning. The preliminary hearing Is bolng held In the court house. There is a large attendance at the hearing, not only from Brookslde, but from the city and other points. A number of ladles were among the spectators at the trial this morning. The list of witnesses which was called showed about fifty in all and It was evident that the trial will last for a day or two and perhaps longer. The defendant enterred a plea 01 not guilty through his attorneys. Dr. J. jr. Bobbins was tne nrsi wit ness and he told of the wound received by Rev. Mr. Bradford, the Methodist minister. Dr. Robblns was among the first on the scene after the shooting. He said in his testimony: I saw evidences of a struggle. A little table had been upset, a lot of trinkets scattered about, and some glass broken. I saw a little cast Iron last In the hall. It was about as thick as your hand. It was t'haped about like the bottom of a shoe. This tool was behind the main door to the vestibule. I could not say what It would weigh." Dr. T. P. Crow, another physician told of attending the wounded minister. Mrs. T. P. Reed, a neighbor of the minister was a strong witness for the State. She told of seeing Mr. Coffman going Into the parsonage. He peeped in the front window before he went in. He then walked In without knocking, she testified. She swore that she heard Rev. Mr. Bradford say "get oft my house," and then Mr. Coffman called the minister a very bad name. She testified: 'Rev. Bradford put Mr. Coffman out and had the door almost closed when Mr. Coffman fired. He shot three timeB. Then the door fell open and two more shots! were fired. Coffman went inside and remained a few moments and then came out and called Dr. Crow. He went inside a second time, remained about a minute and a half and then came out and left. As he came out he was looking down as though at Mr. Bradford. I saw Mr. Bradford light the lamp in his study about ten minutes before Mr. Coffman came up. The light was burning when Mr. Coffman came up. There was no one In the house with Mr. Bradford at the time." The attorneys for the defendant closely cross-questioned Mrs. Reed. She testified that she was not a member of Rev. Mr. Bradford's church and was not unfriendly with Mr. Coffman. The examination of witnesses is pro gressing slowly, the attorneys for the defense prosecuting an ardent cross-ex-, amlnation. Some damaging testimony is being brought out against the defendant. The defendant has a number of witnesses in his own behalf. i.

Clipped from
  1. The Montgomery Advertiser,
  2. 17 Dec 1901, Tue,
  3. Page 3

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