Amazin Stories: Seeks Life Term as Fourth Offender - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

Amazin Stories: Seeks Life Term as Fourth Offender

Published NY Times October 26, 1927

The insistence of Charles Irwin, 31 years old, that he was a fourth offender may result on Friday in his being sentenced to a life term of imprisonment. Irwin and his brother, Frank, a fourth offender according to police records, were found guilty yesterday by a jury in the Queens County Court of the hold-up on Aug. 6 of Henry Girod of 274 West Nineteenth Street, Manhattan, and Miss Esther Depp of 35 Jay Street, Maspeth, in an automobile at Caldwell and Western Avenues, Maspeth.

Frank Irwin's identification as a criminal who had been released from his third term only a short time before quickly was established. Charles Irwin, however, had only two previous convictions charged against him, and this would have spared him from a life term. When they were arraigned before Judge Adel for pleading on Oct. 10 Charles insisted that he previously had served three prison terms.

This accusation against himself had been ignored by the Grand Jury in returning the indictment, the authorities suspecting that he had laid claim to a third previous conviction to carry out his intention to spend the rest of his life in prison with his brother. A careful watch was kept on the pair while their trial was in progress, because when they first were arraigned in the Ridgewood Magistrate's Court for the Girod hold-up, both escaped from the detention pen. They were recaptured in ten minutes however.

The clerk of Judge Adel's court was engaged in the formality of recording the pedigrees of the two convicted men yesterday when Charles Irwin again informed the court that he really was a fourth offender, and thus should receive the mandatory Baumes law life sentence with his brother. The court questioned him about the previous three convictions and then marked the indictment as applying to a fourth offender but ordered that before the brothers were arraigned again on Friday the police should check up his statement.