Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prosecutor says Gladys Broadhurst planned the murder with her cowboy lover

The State of Oregon, speaking through Blaine Halleck, special prosecutor, today told a Malheur County circuit court jury that it proposes to show step by step how Gladys Lincoln married Dr. Willis D. Broadhurst of Caldwell, Idaho, for his money and then conspired with young Alvin Lee Williams, an employee on Broadhurst’s ranch, to kill him both before and after she went through what the state claims was an illegal marriage ceremony with Williams at Reno, Nevada, Sept. 17, 1947.

The jury, along with two alternates, was completed at 11:05 today after Judge M.A. Biggs ruled in favor of the state on the defense’s attempt to secure possession of documents turned over to the state following Mrs. Broadhurst’s arrest and which the defense said contained evidence that could be used against the defendant. Judge Biggs also ruled that the state may introduce (the documents) as evidence during the trial.

Attorney Halleck, in his opening statement, charged that Mrs. Broadhurst renewed a 20-year-old acquaintance with the Caldwell chiropractor who had become worth an estimated $200,000 and got him to marry her several months before a divorce decree from (her husband) Merle Lincoln was to become final, May 20, 1946 in Reno, Nevada.

At the Broadhurst ranch in Caldwell, Idaho a few weeks later she met Williams and took up with him, suggesting to Dr. Broadhurst that (Williams) accompany her to California where (she claimed) she feared violence from her late husband’s brother. She told Broadhurst that Lincoln had been killed in the war. . . .

Halleck said the state will show that Mrs. Broadhurst paid $200 for the car Williams needed to carry out the crime, and the whiskey she knew he needed to steel him for it. Halleck also said the defendant went with Williams to Parma to get the gun he used.

“Dr. Broadhurst was beaten and shot to death by Alvin Lee Williams, but the murder was conceived, plotted, planned, directed, encouraged and assisted by the defendant whom the state contends is equally guilty,” Halleck told the jury.

According to the Argus story, the Jury --- as finally completed after two and a half days questioning --- included Ernest Adams, Van Maltsberger, Ed Oakes, Gertrude Blanton and Sam F. Taylor, all of Ontario; J.C. Olson, Torvald Olson, Ida Walters and Mona A. Davis of Nyssa, William Morrison of Vale, and Earl Flock of Fruitland (the newspaper listed only eleven). Alternates were Jonesie D. Scott of Vale and Carroll Loecy of Ironside.

Mrs. Broadhurst entered the courtroom (for the final day of jury selection and the opening of the trial) walking erectly looking composed, although showing great concern. She was dressed simply in a black tailored suit with a white blouse, a black hat with a touch of gold sequin trim, and a black veil worn off the face. She displayed keen interest over the questioning of the jurors, leaning forward frequently to catch each word of the panel members as they were questioned.

Defense Attorney P. J. Gallagher of Ontario questioned each prospective juror closely as the newspaper and magazine accounts he (or she) had read (as well as) whether it would prejudice the juror that Mrs. Broadhurst had been married several times and that her divorce might not have been final when she married Broadhurst. The defense attorney also attempted, unsuccessfully, to exclude from evidence letters and documents taken from Mrs. Broadhurst when she was arrested and later delivered to the prosecution by friends of Broadhurst.

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