(Arizona Territorial Criminal Records) A Collection of Documents on the Murder of Jailer Andrew Holbrook in Tucson in 1883 and the Documents Relating to the Hanging of His Murderer Joseph Casey
Joseph Casey had been touted as "the master of escape" after his various arrests for cattle rustling and armed robberies. When he was first arrested for one of his early crimes by Pima County Sheriff Robert Paul, he escaped, fleeing to El Paso. He was again arrested and Sheriff Paul went by train to bring him back to Tucson but he escaped before the sheriff's arrival. He was captured again in Big Spring, Texas where he tried to take a gun away from the jailer but a Texas Ranger was able to subdue Casey and chain him on the floor. He was brought back to Tucson on March 17, 1883. Here he was wearing fifteen-pound Oregon boots which were considered escape proof. The Pima County Jail in Tucson was located in the basement of the newly erected courts building. Sheriff Paul appointed his old friend, Andrew W. Holbrook, as Chief Jailer. Holbrook was warned not to let his guard down for the prisoner Joseph Casey. Casey spent the next few weeks loosening a bar in preparation for an escape. On Sunday morning, April 29, 1883, he and several prisoners complained about uneatable food and Holbrook came to investigate. Casey had acquired a gun and there was a quick scuffle with Holbrook calling for help (the other jailers had taken some prisoners for religious services on the upper floor of the court house). He ran for help but Casey shot him in the back. Holbrook secured the other prisoners, but died that night. An angry mob gathered outside the new courthouse and wanted to lynch the murderer of Andrew Holbrook (the Pima County Sheriff's Department website shows him as the first deputy murdered in the line of duty). The collection was purchased from the estate of a Phoenix attorney and it can be traced to the law firm in the 1880's of Goodrich & Smith. This is why it is so complete including the orders for his arrest, the vigorous defense of his attorneys, the two orders for his hanging signed by Associate Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court the last of which led to his hanging. Collections with both the decisions of the Territorial Court along with the legal maneuvers of the defense team are rare in Arizona's Territorial period.
(Inventory #: 025044)
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