Murphy, Charles : Commonwealth Cause, Richmond City
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[be]cause his horse was not his, and had a sore back. Witness then carried the horse to a place about two hundred yards off and returned - saw defendant - & negro a short distance off: the negro had on no hand cuffs then: the negro staggered against a fence and took hold of the fence & sank down in a sitting position: the defendant came to witness and said that he believed that negro was going to die - witness told him he must be joking and walked up to the negro & found that he was dead. the defendant went the same evening & surrendered himself to a police officer. A postmortem examination was made on the next day by Dr. Thomas the deputy Coronor [coroner] assisted by Dr. Petticolas, both physicians of high standing. they found the traces of any recent disease to cause death - the organs were in an ordinarily healthy condition; there were traces of old pleurisy. and some slight congestion of the membranes of the brain and the heart appeared to be a large one all the other organs were in a healthy condition and they could see no cause for the death[.] They found marks on the shoulders, back and
buttocks and thought they had been given by a cowhide but saw no reason to cut into the back the skin was not broken except in one place on the side which looked as if it had been caused by rubbing against a hard substance. they cut into that place and found no bruise. They had been informed that the negro had been whipped before they made the postmortem, and they did not see any connection between the death and the whipping. the following question was propounded to Drs Conway Rucker & Powell, physicians of high standing in Richmond (here insert the question) and each of them gave it as his opinion that the whipping inflicted by the defendant and the treatment during the whipping caused the death of the negro. Dr. Petticolas in answer to the same question said that confining himself to the statement contained in the question and excluding all other possible causes of death, he was impressed with the conviction that there was a connection between the whipping & the death: but that taking in all possible causes of death and having made a postmortem examination he was not prepared to say what was the cause of the death: that at the time he made the postmortem examination he did not know the extent of the whipping which the negro had