Prize Fight Fatality

Parkersburg Sentinel
July 6, 1899

The Court

Hears Evidence in the Habeas Corpus Case

And Will Announce His Decision Tomorrow.

Judge J. M. Jackson heard evidence this morning upon the petition of George Wanko for a writ of Habeas corpus. Wanko is confined in jail upon the charge of killing Felix Carr in the recent boxing contest at Fries' Park.

Wanko himself was the first witness. He told again all the details of the contest with which the public is already familiar. He said that he had no ill feeling whatever toward Carr and that he had shaken hands with him before the contest and also after Carr had been knocked out. At the latter time Wanko said to Carr that he hoped Carr had no ill feeling toward him and Carr replied that he had none. To show that there was no bad feeling he stated that during one of the round Carr had accidentally pushed Wanko. Carr had apologized and they again shook hands.

Wanko explained to the court the difference between a boxing contest and a prize fight. In the former the gloves must weigh over five ounces and the fight is for points with no purse. In the prize fight the gloves weigh five ounces or less, there is a purse to fight for and the fight is kept up until one of the men is knocked out. The boxing contest lasts only for a certain number of rounds. Wanko said he did not know that the governor had written here to have the fight stopped, but did know that it would not have been permitted in the city.

Dr. J. H. Kelley, who assisted at the post mortem added little new to his testimony given at the preliminary hearing. He said that Carr's death was caused by a blow on the head, but that his physical condition was such that a much lighter blow would have caused death than had he been in physical condition. As he was he could have stood very little violent exercise or hard labor. Violent exercise would have caused death from heart failure. The blow caused Carr's death but the same blow might not have killed a well man.

Ben Morrison told of the arrangements for the fight, said he introduced Carr and Wanko and they were as friendly as they could be. They had no ill feeling for each other for they had never met before. He had seen many boxing contests in which harder blows were struck than in this one and no one was hurt. There was no blow struck this time which he considered dangerous. Both he and Wanko said they did not think after Carr was knocked out that he was seriously hurt.

Judge Quinn was called and gave the same evidence given at the preliminary hearing.

Dr. Kelley was recalled and stated that a part of the bruises on Carr's body had been made at some time previous to the boxing contest. He had a black eye which had been given him previous to that time.

The articles of agreement under which the contest was conducted and the gloves which were used were offered in evidence.

Judge Jackson desired to review the evidence of Dr. Kelley and announced that he would render his decision in the case Friday morning at 10 o'clock.