The Argus (28)

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Ellen Sherritt, widow of deceased, deposed,- I remember Saturday evening, the 26th inst. I and my husband and four constables were in the house. I heard a knock at the back door. Weeks called out 'Aaron.' My husband said, 'Who is there?' I said, 'Mr Weeks, I know his voice.' My husband opened the door, and asked Weeks what he wanted. Weeks said he was lost, and asked my husband to go out and show him the road. He went out, and saw Weeks standing there with handcuffs on. As he went out of the door another man went behind the chimney and my husband said 'Who's there?' When he said that, Joe Byrne said something - I could not hear what - and then fired. My husband made his way back from the door, and Byrne then fired a second shot at him. My husband staggered a bit, and then fell down on the floor, striking his head on a box as he fell.

To Mr Foster.- I was standing on one side of the door, and my mother was on the other. Witness continued.- I rushed into the room as the second shot was fired. I spoke to Byrne. I said, 'Why did you shoot Aaron?' He said if he had not shot Aaron, Aaron would have shot him if he got a chance. Byrne heard Duross going into the bedroom, and he said, 'Who is that man?' I said it was a man that was going to stay with us that night, that he was looking for work. Byrne said, 'Bring that man out.' Before that he told my mother to open the front door, and she did so. Dan Kelly made his appearance there. I saw him. He had a revolver pointed at me when he came to the door. Byrne after that called myself and my mother out to the back door. He said, 'Why don't you bring that man out of the room.' I said, 'He won't come out with me.' Byrne then called out to Dan Kelly to look out, as there was a window in the front. Kelly replied, 'It is all right.' Kelly had a rifle pointed at the window. After that Byrne fired two shots into the bedroom where the men were. He sent me in two or three times to get the men to come out. All the time he had my mother and Mr Weeks in front of him, shading him from the door. When I went out the second time he kept whistling and beckoning to someone in the back, in the bush, and telling them to come along, as there were men in the room. No one came. Just then he heard some one 'clicking' their arms inside, and he said that if I did not bring them out he would shot both myself and my mother. I went inside, and the men would not let me out again, as they said I should be shot. My mother was outside all this time, and Dan Kelly told her to fetch the men out, or he would burn the house. Kelly went about collecting bushes. I could hear him speaking to my mother through the house. My mother afterwards came in. Two of the men shut the doors.

To Mr Foster.- It was about two hours after my husband was shot that the men shut the doors. Witness continued.- After the doors were shut I heard someone talking outside for two or three hours. I only saw Byrne and Dan Kelly. I was in the house the next morning when the messenger was sent into Beechworth. A Mr O'Donohoe was sent. A Chinaman was sent before that with a letter to Mr O'Donohoe, but he returned with it. Mr O'Donohoe came afterwards and said he would go. He started, but came back. He said he was afraid he might meet the outlaws. I have heard that a man was riding up and down the road to prevent any one going into Beechworth. One of the constables went in after that. He would have gone before at daybreak, but it was feared that the outlaws would return and surround the house, and so they though it dangerous to separate. Another messenger named Duckett sent, but Constable Armstrong said he would not trust him, but would go himself. To Mr Foster.- No shots were fired by the police when I went into the bedroom. After my husband was shot, the police were standing on each side of the door. Dan Kelly and Byrne were standing at the open doors. They could not leave the bedroom. If they had attempted to lift the calico screen they must have been shot down. There was a bright light in the front room, and if they had fired they must have killed either my mother or Mr Weeks, as they were in front. My mother was outside for about half an hour after my husband was shot. Five or six shots were fired. I think the shots that killed my husband were fired by two different men. The two shots were simultaneous. I only saw one man. I really think the other outlaws were there, as the two made themselves so 'bounceable.' I did not see or hear any thing of the others. To the Jury.- The police did not leave the bedroom for about two hours. Then they shut the doors. After daylight the police went out and looked round the house, but could see nothing. I am sure it was Dan Kelly, not Ned. I know him by his portrait, and besides Byrne was calling him 'Dan' all the time. To Mr Foster. No shots were fired in at the front door before my husband's death. Some shots were fired at the front afterwards, but I do not know whether they came in or not.

Constable Henry Armstrong deposed,- I was in charge of the watch party at Sebastopol. There were three other constables on the same duty with me. During the night we were engaged in watching Mrs Byrne's house. We generally left at 8 o'clock in the evening, and returned between 3 and 5 in the morning. I remember Saturday, the 26th inst. I was in bed at Aaron Sherritt's home along with two other constables. The other constables was having his tea. To Mr Foster.- We remained in the bedroom all day, as it was less liable to be under observation. Witness continued.- Our instructions were to remain in the room during the day. At about 6 o'clock in the evening on Saturday I heard a knock at the door. Duross then went into the bedroom. I heard a voice saying 'Come out, Sherritt; I have lost my way.' Duross then said, 'Go out, Aaron, and show them.' I then heard a shot, and immediately after another. There were about two seconds between the shots. I then said, 'Take your arms boys; the Kellys are here ' Our arms consisted of double barrelled guns and revolvers. The guns were loaded with swan shot wire cartridges. I then heard Mrs Barry say, 'Aaron is shot . I went to the front window and knelt on the bed to fire out, but I could see nothing but darkness. A bullet then passed from the front quite close to my head. The bullet is that produced. It was found upon the floor. The walls of the house are made of hard boards about an inch thick. Several shots were then fired.


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