Youth Gets 5 Years for Iron Bar Attack on Ex-employer in Robbery Plot

Gangster Murder Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – June 6, 1933

Shay Stunned on Brutality of First Offender

Merchant Bludgeoned When He Went to Cellar to Repair Lights


A Camden youth, who confessed brutally beating a former employer with an iron bar in a robbery attempt, yesterday was sentenced to serve five to six years in State’s Prison at Trenton.

William H. Carpenter, 22, of 212 Atlantic Avenue, grinned as he heard sentence pronounced in special sessions court.

In passing sentence, the court commented that it was unusual for "a novice in crime" — it was Carpenter’s first offense — to commit "such a violent crime." It was "almost unthinkable — the victim might have been killed by those blows," Judge Shay said.

Victim in Court

The victim of the attack was Bert Fishbine, of 3 South Davis Avenue, Audubon, who appeared in court today with his head swathed in gauze. He testified he and his wife returned home at 12:30 a.m. on May 28 and the lights wouldn’t work. He went to the cellar, believing a fuse had blown out, and struck a match. In its glow he saw and recognized Carpenter, Fishbine said. Then he was struck repeatedly on the head. West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital physicians took 18 stitches to close the wounds.

Carpenter pleaded guilty to charges of carrying a concealed deadly weapon and attempted robbery. In a statement to the prosecutor’s office he confessed that, needing money and knowing Fishbine would take home the day’s receipts, he went to the Fishbine residence during the family’s absence. He admitted he had taken out the fuses in the hope that Fishbine would go into the darkened cellar to investigate. He confessed, too, to having had a stolen.38-calibre pistol, but said it was unloaded.

Sentences Consecutive

Judge Shay sentenced him to from two and one-half to three years on each of the two charges, with the sentences to run consecutively.

Prosecutor Clifford A. Baldwin and Assistant Prosecutor William C. Gotshalk represented the state. T. Phillips Brown was Carpenter’s counsel.

Richard Hammond, 32, who gave an address at 1615 North Sixty-Third Street, Philadelphia, was sentenced to from one to three years when he confessed to the theft of a typewriter from Frank S. Hinkle, 1800 Mt. Ephraim Avenue. On the night of May 12 Hammond was seen walking on Haddon Avenue with the typewriter under his arm. He was intoxicated and said he did not remember where he had obtained the typewriter, the police stated.

Willie Ross, 30, colored, of 681 Van Hook Street, was sent to Trenton prison to from one to three years on a charge of carrying a concealed deadly weapon. He fired four shots at Sidney Lewis, 661 Van Hook Street, during an altercation over a debt, and when his aim proved too poor, resorted to a more simple expedient. He felled Lewis by striking him over the head with the revolver.

Relents Too Late

A woman’s attempt to have a complaint made against a former boarder withdrawn was unsuccessful. As a result, Nicholas Lipenta, 25, of 906 South Ninth Street, was sentenced to from two to three years on a charge of carrying a weapon.

Lipenta, in his statement to the prosecutor’s office, said he had been keeping company with Mrs. May Woodward, 541 Race Street. He said he went to her home and her husband told him she had gone to Clayton. An argument followed, Woodward called the police and the latter found the gun.

It was revealed Mrs. Woodward had gone to the prosecutor’s office in an effort to have the complaint quashed. She declared that Lipenta had been intoxicated "and didn’t mean all the things he said." She was told he had been arrested for carrying a gun and the case was out of her hands. Prosecutor Baldwin said Lipenta had a criminal record.


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