The People of the State of New York v. Walter B. Severance, 11 January 1918 (Case 2397)
The defendant, Walter Severance, 16, has been indicted on a charge of perjury. This indictment arises from a previous trial when Severance had been charged with grand larceny for the theft of two rings, valued at eight hundred dollars, from a traveling salesman, Edward Richter. In the first trial Severance had testified that he and a companion, Frank Carroll, 19, had met Richter on Sixth Avenue. Richter had been intoxicated and the two boys had helped him return to his apartment on Central Park West. Richter had asked Severance to spend the night, even at one point forcibly removing the boy’s shoes and trousers. Severance had left the apartment shortly after two o’clock in the morning. The jury in the first trial had acquitted Severance of the charge of grand larceny. Frank Carroll testifies in the second trial that he had lied in his statements during the previous trial. Carroll states that Severance had asked him to corroborate a false narrative of the events that evening including the claim that Richter had attempted oral sex with both boys. Edward Richter testifies that on Saturday, September 15, while drinking in the bar at the Knickerbocker Hotel, someone had spiked his drink. He had lost consciousness, only regaining consciousness later that evening in his apartment. He had been wearing his rings that evening but the next morning both rings had disappeared. He notified the police and the next week a police officer had arrested Severance on 42nd Street. The defendant testifies in his own behalf, saying that Richter had been severely intoxicated when they had first met him that evening. They had taken him in a taxicab uptown, returning him safely to his apartment. Severance states that he had not seen any rings in the apartment and despite Richter’s attempt to remove his trousers, he had left at two o’clock in the morning without any further incident. There is no record of a jury verdict.