People v. Walter Bennett, Appeal: Testimony of Jennie Dunn

People v. Walter Bennett, appeal

JENNIE DUNN, a witness called on behalf of the defense, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct-examination by Mr. Greenthal:

Jennie Dunn: I live at 307 West 28th Street. I have lived there three years; I keep there furnished rooms; I know the defendant Bennett; I know him three years; I remember the 21st day of February of this year: I saw Bennett on that day; I saw the defendant on the 21st of February, around six o'clock in the evening, first.

Mr. Greenthal: And how long did he remain in your rooms, if you know?

The Court: How does that become material?

Mr. Greenthal: Very material, if your Honor please. I am going to show by this witness what time this defendant left that house. They swear that the was there at nine o'clock, and I will show when he left that house.

Mr. Greenthal: Do you know what time he left your home?

Dunn: Yes, sir.

Mr. Ely: Oh, I object. It is immaterial. It makes no difference.

The Court: Well, the defendant himself testified that he was in the baths that night.

Mr. Greenthal: Yes, sir; that is all right, but the detective swears that he saw him there at half-past nine, and I will show by the witness that he did not leave her house until half-past ten o'clock or a quarter to eleven. In other words, I am impeaching the credibility of the detectives. I think it is very material.

The Court: Very well then. Go on and answer the question.

Dunn: He left me house Saturday night, 25 minutes of eleven. I know other people who know Mr. Bennett. I know what his reputation for decency and respectability is. All that I know about him is good. His reputation is good.

Cross-examination by Mr. Ely:

Dunn: What impresses it upon my mind that Bennett left my place at 307 West 28th street, at exactly 25 minutes of eleven on the night of the 21st of February, 1903, is, because I looked at the clock just as he went out. He stayed rather late and I wanted to put out the gas upstairs and I thought it was time to put it out, and I just had reason to look at the clock. And I wanted to go to the store at the same time, and I thought it would be closed and I looked at the clock to see if I would have time enough. The stores don't close until 12 o'clock, Saturday nights, the stores I wanted to go to. Nothing else that impressed it upon my mind except that I know that he was a respectable man. I had some friends that wanted to go home, too, some lady friends; and my sister was there, and she wanted to go home. And that impressed it upon my mind and I had reason to look at the clock.

Mr. Ely: And then it was not because you wanted to go to the store?

Dunn: Well, both, and my sister comes to see me frequently, not generally on Saturday nights; not any night in particular. It was not anything remarkable that my sister should happen to be at my place on Saturday night. That, of itself, would not impress it upon my mind. But because I wanted to go to the butcher's, and this man was there. That impressed it on my mind that it was the 21st of February. That is all. I have known this defendant three years. I know him as well as - he lived in my house all that time, most, except when he went away. He used to go away. he was a boarder in my house. He had a room there. He lodged there and he had been living there off and on for three years; always he was in the city he lived there; he had just come back a week before he was locked up. And he had been in my rooms at other times during the three years that he had lived there. Other times than on the 21st of February. I was in the kitchen. He used to come into the kitchen frequently and he had been in the kitchen there Saturday nights. I usually do my marketing, all grocery purchasing on Saturday nights, for Sunday. I have heard people discuss his reputation, talk about his reputation for decency. I always heard - before the 21st day of February, 1903; yes, sir; I always heard people talk about him. For decency, for being a decent respectable man. It came up just as if you were talking to somebody that knew him. They all said he was decent, yes, sir, where he had rooms before.

Mr. Ely: Well, who spoke to you about him?

Dunn: Well, ladies in the streets where he had rooms.

Mr. Ely: That is all

Mr. Greenthal: That is all. Oh, I have another question.

Mr. Greenthal: Miss Dunn -

The Court: No; you have concluded your examination.

Mr. Greenthal: I excpet to your Honor not permitting me to ask a further question.

The Court: You had concluded your examination.

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