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Venango County PA News - Crimes

Transcribed by Nancy Piper unless otherwise stated


Murder of William Davidson by Robert Scott

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) May 4, 1825

Franklin, Pa., April 15

Horrid Murder

On Thursday evening last a most atrocious murder was committed on the person of Mr. William Davidson, constable of Irwin township, in this county, by Robert Scott, of Scrubgrass township. The circumstances, as we learn, are as follows: Scott took his rifle and started for the express purpose (as he said) to shoot John Witherup, Esq., and when within about a hundred yards of Mr. Witherup's house, he met Mr. Davidson, who had been there on business and at a distance of about forty steps ordered him to stop, when he presented his gun and shot him dead on the spot. The ball entered Mr. Davidson's left breast and lodged a little below the shoulder blade of his right side. He was an honest, upright citizen and much respected by all who knew him and has left a large family to lament his untimely end.

Scott is safely lodged in prison to await his trial. - Venango Dem.

The same person, some years ago, broke into the Prothonotary's office of Venango and indiscriminately destroyed every paper he could lay his hands on. He was indicted and tried for the offence and if we mistake not, acquitted on the ground of insanity. - Crawford Messenger

Robert Scott's Trial For the Murder of William Davidson

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) September 14, 1825

August term 1825

In the Court of Oyer and Terminer held in the town of Franklin for the county of Venango, came on the trial of Robert Scott for the murder of William Davidson on the 14th of April last. The prosecution on behalf of the Commonwealth was very ably conducted by D. Derrickson, Esq., deputy attorney general, assisted by Messrs. Foster and Banks of Mercer. The prisoner was ably defended byMessrs. M'Calmont and Pearson of this place, assisted by Mr. Ayres of Butler and Mr. Selden of Meadville. The jury after receiving the charge of the Court retired and in about half a hour returned with the verdict of acquittal on account of Insanity. Scott is still in confinement. - Venango Democrat.

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