The Carlsbad Current

Carlsbad New Mexico March 19, 1907

Killing at Dayton

Will Smith fatally shot by his friend Bob Faulkner

Say: it was accidental

Three important witnesses went to Roswell last Saturday and state that the shooting was not intentional–young men were having a drunken revel when the tragedy occurred. The County’s officials here have received telephone messages this morning bringing the news of the fatal shooting at Dayton, Friday night, March 15, in which Bob Faulkner is said to have accidentally killed his friend, Will Smith, a well-known young man of that town. Faulkner has been placed under arrest, awaiting an investigation, and the justice of the peace at Dayton phoned this morning that the inquest would be held this afternoon, although three persons who were in the same room in which the shot was fired are in Roswell. A young man claiming to be LeRoy Sinile, the young woman claiming to be his wife and another young woman claiming to be the formers sister, Eva Sinile, came in on the morning train and were arrested upon telephonic advice from Dayton, stating that they are wanted there as witnesses. To a Record reporter the trio told the story, this afternoon. Eva’s is now a spokeswoman for the three. She said that their home was in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and that they were on their way back to that place after a trip as far south as Fort Worth and Pecos. They came to Dayton yesterday morning from Carlsbad and stopped at the former place for the night, securing lodging in the house of a bachelor, whose name they did not know. They were at this house entertaining a party of young men between 12 and 1 o’clock last night when the shooting occurred. The crowd was drinking beer and having a good time, the woman said when a young man (it was Smith) told Bob Faulkner in a joking way that he would put him out of the house. Faulkner said that he would not be put out, even if he had to use his gun to stay in. Smith said he would use his first, and made a motion as to reach for it, whereupon Faulkner pulled his six-shooter and pointed at Smith. The woman says that she urged him to put up his gun and not to point it at anybody, even as a joke. Smith remarked that his gun got hung up in his suspenders and just then Faulkner’s gun went off and Smith fell on a cot. When Smith fell, the young woman says that Faulkner nearly went crazy with grief and that the injured man said: “Bob, you have killed me. Take care of my sister. Look after her for me,” and talking in this manner until everyone left the house. When all the others left, the trio went to the station, being afraid and left on the morning train for Roswell. Smith was still talking about Faulkner taking care of his sister when they left. He died later in the morning according to telephone message from Dayton. Officers are expected to come up Sunday morning for the three witnesses that are being held here.

Will Smith came from Dardonell, Arkansas about a year ago and was a farmer at Dayton. He has a brother 18 years old at Dayton. Faulkner is a professional gambler. Smith, Faulkner, Major Locklear and Jim Hamilton were indicted last fall on the charge of allowing minors to loiter about a saloon at Lake Arthur. Smith and Locklear pleaded guilty and served a 30 days sentence in the Chaves County Jail. Faulkner and Hamilton were discharged.

Sheriff Christopher went to Roswell Sunday, returning to Dayton Monday, with the two young women and a young man who were tried before Judge Daughtry there yesterday and charged with vagrancy. They were given 90 days in jail and a $10 fine and costs each. They were all committed to jail here last night; Faulkner was placed under a $1000 bond to await the action of the next grand jury.

Which one is Wil Smith?

Artesia Advocate March 16, 1907/March 23, 1907

Accidentally shot

At Dayton last night about midnight, Will Smith, an employee at the Young livery stable was shot. He died from the effects of his wounds this morning. Details are meager.  We learned that Smith and some other boys were at the Regger house when the shooting occurred. Afterwards before he died, Smith said the affair was purely accidental. We have not learned who owned the gun.

New Mexico Sun Carlsbad, New Mexico March 22, 1907

JC Wilson, of Dayton New Mexico was in town Wednesday and when asked concerning the young man, Will Smith who was killed by Bob Faulkner, said: “Yes, I knew Smith well; he came from Hickory, Arkansas, last year and I at once hired him to work; he was a faithful, hard-working young man. His younger brother and sister came with him and he was seemingly more concerned about them than he was about himself. The accident by which he lost his life has certainly taught Bob a severe lesson that he will never forget and I, for one, will always spare his feelings by never mentioning at, for Bob is almost distracted from grief over the affair.

Artesia Advocate August 3, 1907

Ward and Wilson at Dayton

Ike Ward and Lamar Wilson have bought the Dayton livery barn and will take possession about August 1. Ike is well known as successful livery man throughout the Valley and the firm ought to do well. We hate to lose him, I wish him success.

The Carlsbad Argus September 6, 1907

The grand jury so far, return for indictments which were reported to the court yesterday. Two counts returned against Robert Faulkner, one for caring a deadly weapon and the other for involuntary manslaughter.

The New Mexico Sun Carlsbad New Mexico September 13, 1907

Case of Territory versus Bob Faulkner tried, and a verdict of not guilty was rendered

The case of Robert Faulkner, charged with manslaughter was tried Wednesday and Thursday, the case going to the jury at about 6 PM yesterday. The verdict returned after the jury had been served with supper was “not guilty.” The following was the trial jury in the case: Walter Stone, John Lusk, JM Bradford, Ernest Nelson, Ned Holloway, George Bruce, WR Shattuck, George M Williams, D Lucas, ME Stewart, WG Brown, WT Skelton. This case will be remembered as the accidental shooting of a young man named Smith by Bob Faulkner at Dayton March 16, 1907.  Bob was carelessly handling a six-shooter and pointed it at Smith when it was discharged, killing Smith.  Smith, in a dying statement exonerated Faulkner for any intentional harm. Bujac and Bryce defended Bob and LO Fullen prosecuted.

The Carlsbad Argus September 13, 1907

39 indictments returned

The past week has been a busy one in court circles. The attention of the court has been occupied all week with matters of a civil nature until yesterday, when the case of the Territory versus Robert Faulkner was taken up, charging him with the carrying and handling in a careless manner of a deadly weapon and also the charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Territory of New Mexico versus Saul Schoonover, three counts, assault while armed, assault with a deadly weapon and assault and robbery. Saul Schoonover was arraigned in pled not guilty. His hearing was set for the 12th and 14th. He gave bond for his appearance at that time.

The case of the Territory of New Mexico versus Sol Schoonover charging him with assault, being armed with a deadly weapon was called, the defendant pled not guilty in the case was set for today.

The jury in the Faulkner case charging the defendant with involuntary manslaughter returned a verdict of not guilty last night about 8 o’clock. The case had occupied the attention of the court, since Wednesday noon; it was a hard-fought case. The jury had the case under deliberation almost 3 hours before coming to an agreement the defendant has not been tried on the charge of unlawfully carrying deadly weapons.

The case of the Territory of New Mexico versus Sol Shoonover charged with assault with a deadly weapon robbery was called this morning and is now being heard.

The Carlsbad Current September 24, 1907

Robert Faulkner was sentenced to 60 days in jail and costs for caring a deadly weapon.

The Carlsbad Argus September 27, 1907

In the case of the Territory of New Mexico versus Robert Faulkner charged with carrying a deadly weapon, the defendant reappeared in court, asked leave to withdraw his plea of not guilty and pled guilty, which was allowed by the court, who thereupon sentenced the defendant to a term of 60 days in the county jail.

The Artesia advocate August 29, 1913

About two years ago, just after Judge Pope’s grand jury reported that 9/10 of the criminal business brought before it was traceable directly to the saloons at Carlsbad, the county seat waked up and dispensed with the saloons by common consent. Two joints were soon opened up in San Jose, a suburb of the town and whiskey has been dispensed freely ever since. Believing that the latter condition was worse than the first, saloons were voted back into the town Saturday by a majority of 34.

After dispensing was saloons five years ago, when a citizen had been killed in a drunken row, Dayton’s town trustees a few months ago granted the saloon license to Tom sales, in consideration of the sum of money sufficient to pay the town’s debts. After conducting the business six months, sales was voted out last Saturday by majority of 10 ballots, the people of the town evidently having come to the conclusion that the alleged prosperity was highly bought. It is been reported that Mr. sales expects to move his business to Artesia, but the advocate has been unable to find any foundation for the report, other than Street rumor.