Charles Olds was a gambling man who was born in Coldwater, Michigan, and moved to Portland in May of 1883.
Olds was convicted for the May 10th, 1889, murder in the first degree of Emil Weber. He was first convicted in October 1889, but the charge was turned over on appeal twice, finally going to the State Supreme Court.
Notes from the Second Trial
John Bose testified that he was employed by Emil Weber. On May 10th, 1889, they left the barbershop that they worked at and headed towards their boarding house at the Magnolia Restaurant on SW Alder Street. Bose and Weber first stopped and talked to Mrs. Weber, Miss Walters, and a gentleman friend on the corner of SW 2nd Avenue and Alder for five to ten minutes. They then met a Mr. H. F. Gullixson at the northeast corner of SW 3rd Avenue and Alder, where Weber ordered a mat for the boot-black stand in front of the barbershop from Mr. Gullixson. Bose and Weber started crossing SW 3rd and got with 15 or 20 feet of the northwest corner before noticin the accused, Charles Olds, standing at a water plug. Olds was alleged to have said,"Mr. Weber, I hear you have been around town looking for me." Weber replied by saying,"You son of a bitch, what do you want of me?" In response, Olds fired a total of five shots at Weber, missing him the first time, hitting him in the neck the second, and firing the rest as he lay on the ground, with the fifth bullet being shot into the back of his head. Olds looked at the body, then turned to Bose and said,"Now, you son of a bitch, I suppose you will go round looking for me," and then walked down SW Third towards SW Washington Street.
Gullixson testified that he was on a wagon at the time of the shooting, and did not see the first shot, although the sound of it caused him to turn in time to see Olds firing at the prone figure of Weber. Gullixson noted that after the shooting, Olds put the pistol in his pocket, removed a handkerchief and his hat, and mopped his brow, but otherwise did not appear to be excited. Other witnesses to the shooting included M. C. Griffin, Milton Weldler, Blanche Martin.
Police Officer C. E. Hoxie testified that as he escorted Olds to the county jail, Olds admitted to the shooting as they passed the corner where it happened. He expained to Hoxie that he saw Weber going for his pocket when approaching Olds, and that Olds didn't wait to see what Weber may have been reaching for, and started shooting.
Charles Sliter was called as a witness in the case because as the proprietor of the Crystal Palace Saloon, he rented upstairs card rooms to Olds and Olds' business partner, Frank Lynch, under the business name of the Olympic Association. Sliter testified that on the day of the shooting, Weber and a Mr. Druger came into the saloon around 11 a.m. for a drink, and Weber mentioned some trouble he'd caused in Olds' cardrooms "the other day", and that he'd wanted to pay for some glass that had been broken. Sliter commented that Weber didn't need to pay for anything, but that he was more concerned about the trouble caused. Sliter said, "'Well', he says, 'I came to-day; this morning,' he says: 'I want to talk to you about this red-headed son of a bitch upstairs. He says,'I know he's running a game up there, and he shall not do business in the town while I am in it.'" Sliter saw Olds around noon the same day, and told Olds that Weber had been looking for him. Sliter suggested to Olds that it may be in everyone's best interest if Olds left town for a while.
E. A. Post, who had been a proprietor of the Gilman House, testified that he had known Weber, and that he had considered him to be "a person disposed to be quarrelsome, vicious, irritable and dangerous." Weber at the time had been employed as a driver of a soda wagon, and was at the Gilman House every morning, had had been blamed for several disturbances there. He stated that Weber was known to carry a pistol.
Police Officer C. W. Holyapple testified that he was also familiar with Weber, and found him to be a quarrelsome and disagreeable person that may be inclined to shoot. He had arrested Weber for gambling several times, and on one of those occasions, Weber had offered to show him other places where gambling was occurring.
William Summers testified that he'd known Weber since 1881, when they had bothed lived in Laramie, Wyoming, and had moved out to Portland in the employ of Weber. He indicated that Weber was known to have a bad reputation, especially among other people running gambling operations, but felt that Weber was a good employer. Weber, along with Jacob Weber, Paul Furray, Isaac Gratton, and James Furray had an interest in th Brunswick Billiard Hall, a gambling house and saloon.
Officer Jospeh Day testified that he'd seen Weber two days before the shooting, and that Weber had complained about a "son of a bitch" and that he'd shoot the man on sight. Day responded by saying that that might not be such a good thing to say to a police officer, but he left Weber alone.
Police Captain J. F. Watson testified that he'd known Weber had a bad reputation, but that he thought Olds' reputation was of a "peaceable, quiet citizen".
J. M. Gilman testified that he was a steam-boat man and proprietor of the Gilman House, and that Weber had a bad reputation.
John Minto testified that he had seen the fight that preceded the homicide. Olds was on the platform in front of the Crystal Palace Saloon, leaning on a small cane, and looking out into the street, when Weber passed by behind him. Weber looked into the saloon, then ran and hit Olds from behind, pushing him off the platform and onto the sidewalk. Olds dropped the cane, and hit Weber two or three times in the face. Weber threw up his hands, then returned a few blows. They scuffled a bit, and Weber made for the door of the salloon, with Olds punching him on the back of his neck. Weber pushed through the door of the saloon and grabbed a couple of tumblers from the bar. Olds stepped back, saying,"Throw it, you son of a bitch. You don't dare throw it." Weber threw one of the tumblers at Olds, missing him, but dropping the other in the process. As Weber grabbed the tumbler he dropped, Olds hit him, and they scuffled, ending up against a wall. The bartender, said,"Don't knock those pictures off the wall." The men broke up, out of breath, and paused. Weber threw the other tumbler at Olds.
Frank Summers, a bartender at the Gilman House, testified that a year earlier he'd seen Weber arguing with Olds in front of the Brunswick Billiards Hall, accusing Olds of getting Weber into legal trouble. Summers testified that Weber had a bad reputation, while Olds did not.
Paul Furray had been a bartender under the employ of Weber, and testified that Weber had a bad reputation.
Albert Richster, a bartender for the Crystal Palace, testified that he'd heard about the fight between Weber and Olds, and the day before the shooting, Weber had been in to ask how much he owed for the glasses he'd broken, and to see if Olds was around. He threatened,"If he is upstairs, call him down. I will make him leave town. I will do him up. I will make him jump in the river." That night, Richster and Frank Lynch escorted Olds part of the way home, with Olds in the center, in case Weber was looking to make trouble.
Edward Holman, the undertaker, testified that when he retrieved Weber's body, there was a loaded pistol lying uder it. He turned it over to Sheriff Penumbra Kelly, who testified that it was loaded, and was the same pistol in the courtroom.
David Campbell, at that time a driver for the fire company, testified that he knew Olds, and was at SW 4th Avenue and Alder when the shooting occurred. He said he hadn't seen Olds in the area, but would have recognized him if he did.
Frank E. Richardson testified that he's seen Olds, Bose, and Weber, right before the shooting, but hadn't paid any attention until shots were fired. He helped to lift Weber, and saw the gun on the ground, along with a brass plug. He was arrested as a witness to the state.
M. J. Kochman testified that he saw the shooting, and that he'd seen Weber going for his hind pocket.
Police Chief S. B. Parrish testified that he was at the scene of the crime shortly after the shooting. He saw the pistol under the body, and testified that it was the pistol in court.