The Lizzie Borden Preliminary Hearing

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After the inquest trial adjourned Lizzie Borden was placed under arrested. The next day Lizzie entered a plea of not guilty. She was transported to the jail in Taunton, eight miles north of Fall River, then returned to Fall River on August 22 for her preliminary hearing.

The Preliminary Hearing began on August 25, 1892. The Hearing lasted for seven days, ending on September 1, 1892. At the end of the hearing, Lizzie Borden was found “probably guilty” by Judge Blaisdell and ordered to face a grand jury and possible charges for the murder of her father and step-mother.

Click here to read the Judge Blaisdell verdict from the testimony.

Pile of lumber that was near the back fence of the Borden yard.

Click here to see more exterior photos of the Borden home.

From the testimony of Deputy Sheriff Francis H. Wixon on August 26, 1892:

Q. How did you get into this yard east of Dr. Kelly’s?

A. I climbed over a pile of lumber that was near the back fence of the Borden yard, that is, climbed over the lumber. I got up on the lumber, and got over the fence.

Q. Would not that take you over into Dr. Chagnon’s?

A. If I went directly east it would. I think I made a step or two along the fence. The south end of this lumber was very near the south line fence of the Borden estate.

Q. So you got right over from the lumber?

A. I got on to the fence east first, and then stepped along to the south fence, and got over that fence into the yard south of the Borden yard; barbed wire on top.

Q. Was that the yard occupied by Mr. Crowe the mason?

A. I think it is; I am not positive whether he occupies that or not.

Q. It is pretty well filled with lumber and various things?

A. It looked like a general receptacle of odds and ends. There were weeds growing there, that I know, some parts of it.

Q. How near to the Borden fence was this man you saw at work?

A. He was some little distance, probably 25 or 30 feet, I do not know. I think 20 feet or more, 20 or 25 feet.

Q. I am speaking of what we call Crowe’s yard, the yard back of Dr. Kelley’s house, and south of the Borden back yard?

A. It looked to me a pile of lumber in the center of that yard, and this man was on the easterly extremity of that lumber, in Crowe’s yard.

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