NY Times June 16, 1909 • Suddenly set free while on trial for his life on a charge of murder in the first degree was the experience of Charles Wagner in the Flushing Supreme Court yesterday.
Wagner was charged with shooting to death John Dolan in Mariondale Park, Maspeth, on the night of June 28, last year. The trial began Monday with the examination of Miss Minnie Carroll, who was with Dolan when he was shot from behind, and Irving Wetzler, who testified to seeing a pistol in Wagner’s hand following the shooting.
The prosecution had no further evidence to submit, and on motion of Lawyer Bennett the Justice directed a verdict of acquittal. After the formal verdict had been returned, the Justice asked the jurymen how they personally felt, and they replied, “Not guilty.” Then Justice Aspinall summoned Irving Wetzler, the chief witness for the prosecution before him.
“Wetzler,” said the Justice, “I believe you are a monumental liar and a stool pigeon. Don’t talk to me,” as Wetzler essayed to speak. “or I will send you to jail in five seconds. Get out of here at once.” Wetzler left immediately, and Wagner remained to shake hands with everybody in sight.
At the time of the shooting the charge was made against Wagner that he was jealous of young Dolan, who, it was alleged, had taken his sweetheart, and that while going out of the pavilion following a dance he stole up behind Dolan and shot him in the back.