EXCERPTS FROM THE TESTIMONY OF WILLIE ROBERSON

Direct Examination by Hon. Samuel S. Leibowitz

Q     What is your name?

A     Willie Robertson

Q     Where did you live in the year 1931, two years ago?

A      I lived at Atlanta, Georgia

Q      On the 25th of March in the year 1931 did you leave Chattanooga on a freight train?

A      Yes sir.

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Q      Were you suffering form some disease at that time?

A      Yes sir.

Q      What was that?

A      Syphilis and gonorrhea

Q      How long had you been suffering from that?

A      I had been suffering from that for about nine months.

Q      Willie will you tell the jury the condition of your private parts?

A      Yes sir.

Q      On the day as to whether they were normal or what shape they were in?

A      In bad shape.

Q      That doesn't mean anything, tell us what was the trouble with them, were they swollen?

A      Swollen and had sores on it

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Q      Your organ there, was it swollen?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Was it swollen much or little?

A       Swollen a heap.

Q      When you walked did you walk with any pain?

A      Yes sir, I had to walk with a stick.

Q      Outside your organs being swollen you say you had some sores on it?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Where were those sores, on your penis?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Larges sores or small sores?

A      Large sores

Q      One large sore?

A      Three large sores.

Q      Were than shankers, if you know?

A      That's what the doctor at Scottsboro said.

Q      Dr. Bridges?

A      I don't know his name.

Q      The doctor at Scottsboro examined you that day you were arrested?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Looked you over?

A      Yes sir.

Q      And he saw the condition you spoke of?

A      He had me pull my clothes down.

Q      You say it was painful for you to walk?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Did you wear a suspensory at that time, you know what a suspensory is?

A      Yes sir, something to hold it up.

Q      Did you wear one that day, or did you have one on?

A      I didn't have none on that day.

Q      Did that make it more painful for you to walk?

A      Yes sir.

Q      It has been testified here by the lady named Victoria Price that the nine boys in this case -- you are one of the nine?

A     Yes sir.

Q      Jumped off of a box car into a gondola car and engaged in a fight, engaged in wrestling around and scuffling around and engaged in raping her or the other girl --

GENERAL KNIGHT:  We object.

MR. LEIBOWITZ:    Let me finish.

GENERAL KNIGHT:    I am compelled to make by objection to the form of the question.

COURT:    Sustain the objection as put.

Q     Were you in any condition that day, physical condition to jump form any box car into a condaola car and run up and down the gondola car and engage in scuffling and fighting?

A      No sir.

Q      And then wrestle around and rape a woman?

A      No sir.

Q      Did you ever rape any woman, or have any intercourse with any woman on that day?

A      No sir.

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Q      When you got to Paint Rock did you observe any men, any sheriffs with guns along the line on up to where the train comes around the curve?

A      Yes sir.

Q       What happened between you and any of the officers as you lay in that box car with the white man in it, tell these men there in the jury box?

A      A white man come up and had a pistol and shot gun and told me to get out and I crawled out; I had my stick and he told me to throw my stick away, and we marched up to the store.

Q      What was said?

A      He asked the white man did he want him to get out too, and he said no, he just wanted these negroes off.

Q      In other words the white man asked the Sheriff or officer having the gun if he, the Sheriff wanted the white man to get off and this Sheriff said to the white man never mind he only wanted the negroes off?

A      Yes sir.

Q      He told you to throw your stick away?

A      Yes sir.

Q      That was the stick you used to hobble along with?

GENERAL KNIGHT:    We object.

COURT:     Let him tell about it.

Q     Where were you taken from that point?

A      To a Jew store, I reckon it was a Jew store, up to a store.

Q      What kind of store?

A      Jew's store.

Q      Were there other negroes there to besides you?

A      Yes sir, they had some more.

Q      They were all collected around that store?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Then where did they take you from there?

A      We were taken to Scottsboro -- they had a rope around us

Q      Taken to the jail?

A      Yes sir -- one of the was talking about taking us out there and hanging us; one of the fellows talked about taking  us out there and hanging us to a tree with a rope.

Q      Which one was that?

A      I don't know.

Q      Some of the crowd?

A      Yes sir

MR. LEIBOWITZ:     I consent that that be stricken out Judge.

Q      Did you know Haywood Patterson at all until you met him in the Scottsboro jail?

A      No sir.

Q      Did you know any of the others?

A      No sir.

Q      Neither of the eight?

A      No sir.

Q      Did you know a single colored boy in that entire group?

A      No sir.

Q      You say you got on the train alone?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Were you alone all the time except for the time you were there with the white boy in that box car?

A      Yes sir.

Q      When you were in the box car were you standing up or lying down?

A      I crawled up in the box car and laid down, I was hurting too bad to stand up.

From the Cross examination by Attorney General Knight

Q      You were going from Atlanta to Memphis to a clinic?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Didn't you have any good clinics in Atlanta?

A      Yes sir, they got a hospital there.

Q      In Atlanta?

A      Yes sir.

Q      But you decided to get on a freight train and ride over to Memphis for treatment?

A      That is where I was going.

Q      How long had you been in Chattanooga, how long had you stopped at Chattanooga on your way to Memphis?

A      Stopped there one night.

Q      Just one night?

A      Yes sir.

Q      Where did you stay that night?

A      Stayed at the police station, city hall.

Q      What were you doing staying in the city hall?

A      Didn't you have no where else to stay

Q      They let you stay there?

A      Yes sir.

Q      You were not arrested and taken there?

A      I went there myself.

Q      They didn't arrest you?

A      No sir.

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Q      Do you know Ozie Powell?

A      No sir.

Q      Did you testify in the other trials you know Ozie Powell?

A      No sir.

Q      I will read you this record where you testified in Scottsboro?  You were asked this question:   Do you know any of these boys, had you known them before that day you met them on the train?"   A:  No sir."   Q:  Did you and Ozie Powell get on the train together at Chattanooga?"   A:  Yes sir."

MR. LEIBOWITZ:    That don't contradict what the witness said.

COURT:     Overrule the objection.

Q     Didn't you testify at Scottsboro you did know Ozie Powell?

MR. LEIBOWITZ:  I object, the record shows he didn't.

COURT:  Overrule that objection.

A     No sir.

Q    You didn't testify to that?

A    No sir.

Q    Didn't you testify at Scottsboro you got on the train with Ozie Powell at Chattanooga?

A    No sir.

Q    Then I suppose this record is incorrect?

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Q:  Were you asked at Scottsboro, when you were tried at Scottsboro, this question:   Q:  Did you and Ozie Powell get on the train together at Chattanooga?"

A    Yes sir, I was asked that.

Q    And didn't you say  Yes sir."

A    No sir.

Q    Were you asked this question:   Where did you meet Ozie Powell."

COURT:    Were you asked that question?

A    I met him in Scottsboro

Q    Were you asked that question on the trial.

COURT:    Do you know whether somebody asked you that at the other trial?

A    No sir, I don't remember it.

Q    I will ask you this and if you didn't make this answer:   Q:  Where did you meet Ozie Powell?"   A: I met him in Chattanooga, he got on one end and I got on the other."

A      No sir.

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