IS LOVE RESPONSIBLE?
HIS WIFE’S MYSTERIOUS DEATH
The case of Mrs. Love, Who Died at Livingston from Injuries, Inquired Into — Testimony Showing That the Couple Frequently Quarrelled
Coroner Roden began an investigation at the Courthouse yesterday afternoon in the circumstances attending the death of Mrs. William W. W. Love, of Roseland, who died from injuries received by a fall down the cellar stairs at her home on September 13. There were rumors that Love had pushed or thrown the woman down the stairs, and color was given to the statement by the fact that the couple were frequently quarrelling. Constable Teed arrested Love, and he gave bail in $1,000 to appear when wanted. The jury empanelled by the Coroner was composed of Z. H. DeCamp, James Harrison, Frank E. Williams, Walter D. Bush, C.R. Conklin, W.W. DeCamp and William Griffith, all of Roseland.
The first witness called was Alfred Love, the twelve-year-old son of the couple. The boy was in no wise embarrassed and gave his testimony in a straightforward manner. He swore that when he returned on the night of the tragedy, he found his mother absent but she soon returned. “She got supper ready and called father,” said the boy witness, “and then passed into the pantry while father was eating his supper. There was a quarrel and she tore father’s shirt. She slipped and fell down stairs.”
Upon cross-examination by Prosecutor Crane, witness said that he had been to Paterson with his father that day and the latter was angry at not finding his wife at home when he returned. She was at the house of one of her daughters nearby and she did not return for an hour. Love laid down on a lounge and went to sleep.
“Can you tell when a man is drunk?” asked Mr. Crane.
“No, I can’t,” said the witness.
QUARRELED AT THE SUPPER TABLE
“There was a quarrel at the supper table,” continued the boy, “but I don’t know what they said.” Mr. Crane’s questions had the effect of making the witness relapse into silence, he evidently becoming afraid to speak. He finally said he was sent to bed without his supper and that his sister knew about the rest of it. “Mother and Father were fighting,” added the boy, “and were pushing each other around the room. I went upstairs and heard Mother and my sister howling. Then I called for help for Mother who was lying on the cellar floor.”
The next witness was Jennie, the fourteen-year-old daughter of the dead woman.
Upon taking the stand she began weeping, and it was with difficulty that she could be sufficiently composed to give her testimony. She thought her father had been drinking when he came in and laid down on a lounge in the parlor. He and witness’s mother had a few words and afterward the latter went to the pantry for a bottle of beer. They had words over it and she caught him by the throat. There was a struggle and her mother fell down the cellar stairs. Her father made no attempt to go after her, and she laid at the bottom of the stairs until Constable Teed came in and removed her.
OFTEN FOUGHT BEFORE
“They have often fought before and hurt each other,” said the girl, “and I did not want them to do it again. Mother had about ten bottles of beer in the pantry that day and sent out for six more.”
At this point Lawyer Charles Graves, representing Love, asked the girl whether her mother had been drinking and was in the habit of drinking. She replied that she had.
“You can’t ask any more questions, Mr. Graves,” interposed the Coroner.
“I’d like to know why?” queried the lawyer.
“Because you haven’t the right to,” replied the Coroner.
“I have a right and purpose exercising it, too,” said the lawyer.
“If you do I’ll have you ejected; I am holding this inquest,” concluded Doctor Roden.
Dr. Peck testified that Mrs. Love was in a semi-conscious condition from the time she received her injuries until death. There was a discoloration on her neck. County Physician Wrightson swore that the woman was injured on both sides of the head and her skull was fractured, producing an effusion of blood and causing death. Dr. Wrightson said he did not think all the wounds could have been caused by falling downstairs. The inquest will be continued tomorrow afternoon.