Camden Courier-Post – June 2, 1933
Apartment House Owner Held Under $500 Bail on Man’s Complaint
Accusation is Denied
Edwin C. Cades, 26, one of the owners of the Cades apartment houses in North Camden, was held under $500 bail yesterday pending grand jury disposition of a charge that he assaulted an employee in an attempt to kill him.
His accuser is Walter Devlin, 54, of 111 North Third Street.
When asked why his employer would want him dead, Devlin testified in police court that he has two insurance policies, one for $3000 with double indemnity for death by accident and another for $1500. In both policies, Devlin declared, Cades is named as the beneficiary.
Cades did not testify yesterday, but entered a plea of not guilty.
Devlin was found unconscious at Nineteenth street and River road late at night on May 16. Taken to West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital, he was found to have suffered a fractured skull and broken jaw. Police at first believed he was a hit-run victim but nevertheless, City Detective Edwin Mills was assigned to investigate the case.
Devlin testified yesterday that Cades invited him out for an automobile ride, alighted somewhere to look at a soft tire. Devlin asserted he found the tire to be hard and was getting back into the car when something struck him on the head. That was all he remembered, he said until he regained consciousness in the hospital.
He could not positively say that Cades was his assailant, but asserted that no other person was present.
L. Scott Cherchesky, attorney for Cades, said he had a statement obtained by Cades from Devlin in the hospital on May 17 in the presence of Detective Mills. In the statement, Devlin purportedly asserted that Cades did not attack him and he did not know who his assailant was.
Tells of Affidavit
Cherchesky also had two affidavits from tenants in the same apartment house where Devlin resides. They are William H. Dougherty and William Widerman. Dougherty attested he saw Cades return at 8.30 p. m. with Devlin and the latter went into the house, “mumbling drunkenly.” Widerman also added that at about 9:45 a. m., he saw Devlin leave the house, alone.
Devlin declared he did not remember making any statement in the hospital to Cades, but that a nurse told him “later, when I came out of my daze and the room stopped swirling,” that he had made such a statement.
The accuser’s complaint charges Cades with assault and battery with intent to kill by beating him over the head with a blunt instrument.
Cherchesky objected to Detective Mills testifying, demanding that Devlin go on the witness stand.
“I’ve been working for Cades for 13 years,” testified Devlin. “On the evening of May 17 at about 7 o’clock Mr. Cades called for me to take a ride with him in his car. We rode around the city in circles and while we were passing over a rough road somewhere Cades told me he thought he had a soft tire. He got out of the car and looked at it and then told me to get out and come around and help him fix it.
“I looked at the tire, felt it and it was hard. I told Cades it was all right. As I started to get back into the car, I was struck over the head and that is all I remember until I woke up in the hospital.”
Under questioning by Judge Pancoast, who held a statement given earlier to the police by Devlin, the latter said that Cades bought him a bottle of whisky on that night. He asserted it was his job to collect rents and take care of the apartments in the North Camden section and as pay he received an apartment and food gratis.
Did Not See Assailant
Devlin said he could not positively swear that it was Cades who struck him as Cades was behind him. He declared, however, that he saw no one else in the immediate vicinity and no one else was in the car.
“Why did you say in this statement which you gave to Detective Millsthat you thought Cades positively struck you?” asked Judge Pancoast.
“Because there was no one else there,” declared Devlin.
“Why would Cades want to strike you or kill you?”
“Because he is carrying a big insurance policy on me and has been for two years,” responded Devlin. “One is a $3000 policy with double indemnity for accidental death, and the other is a $1500 newspaper policy.”
In both of them Cades is named beneficiary.
Planned to Retire
“The payment of the premium on the policies was to come out of the wages I was entitled to and I was to be retired in 10 years, when I was 64, and kept for the rest of my life.”
“”Were you ever hurt before?” Judge Pancoast asked him.
“Yes, I was struck on the head with a brick once before and I told my wife to notify my brother immediately if anything happened to me as I thought I was in danger because of these insurance policies.”
Devlin was then cross, examined by Cherchseky and admitted, that several months ago he had been beaten by a son-in-law and on another occasion was struck by a man named “Conway.”
Cades, in a statement he requested the Courier-Post to publish after his arraignment in police court, emphatically denied the charges made by Devlin.
“I took Walter Devlin out in my automobile, as had been my custom, at 7 o’clock and took him home at 8 o’clock on the night of May 16. William H. Dougherty, who lives in the first-floor apartment at 111 North Third Street, saw Devlin get out of the car and walk up to his apartment, and has signed an affidavit to that effect, which I have.
William Widerman, who also lives at the same address, saw Devlin in his apartment that same evening, and also saw him leave the apartment about 10 o’clock that night, and has given me a signed affidavit to that effect.
“I did not see Devlin until the next morning when I was called to the hospital by detectives. I cannot account for Devlin’s whereabouts after I left him at the apartment house at 8 o’clock.”
I voted at 8:30 at the polling place at Cooper School, and after that spent the evening with my family. This case appears to me as one of extortion by either Walter Devlin or some other interested party.
Devlin has been working for me for the past 13 years, and our relations have been extremely friendly. I am at loss, therefore, to account for this action.”