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Badger Guilty of Assault on Little Child (March 6, 1916)
Fairbanksan Enters Guilt Plea to Three Counts in the Indictment
Harry M. Badger, against whom an indictment charging assault on the person of a little ten-year-old girl, was returned by the grand jury on February 25, pleaded guilty to all three counts contained in the indictment in district court last Wednesday afternoon. The entering of the guilty plea came as a surprise to Fairbanksans generally, and the occasion of the pleading was the most dramatic incident seen during the present term of court. Judge Bunnell has fixed the time of the sentence for next Saturday morning at 10 o'clock.
Badger appeared in court with his attorney, Leroy Tozler, shortly before court convened last Wednesday afternoon, the two taking seats along the rail almost immediately in front of the judge's bench. When court opened the judge announced that the time set for hearing the plea in the case of the United States vs Badger had come and the defendant arose.
The usual questions were asked by the court of the defendant regarding the plea be [text indecipherable] to enter to the first count of the indictment. Badger immediately became very nervous and was seen to swallow hard twice, but he finally managed to say the word "guilty" in an almost inaudible tone of voice.
After ordering the plea of guilty to the first count entered on the court records, the judge asked the defendant how he would plead to the second count. "I don't remember of but once, judge," answered Badger.
The silence in the court room when the defendant made this statement was most intense. He immediately dropped his eyes to his hands, which he held in front of him, while Judge Bunnell, seeming evidently to be thinking of a way to answer the statement of Badger, leaned back in his chair and let his eyes fall on the indictment in his hand. Attorney Tozier reached up from his seat and touched his client and a short whispered conversation took place, after which Badger again said the word "guilty." The same plea was entered to the third count in the same low tone of voice.
It is understood that Mr. Badger has been released until the time of sentence under the bonds furnished at the time of arraignment. The maximum sentence under the law for each count to which he has pleaded guilty is a fine of $500 or imprisonment for a term of six months, or both.