Viewing "The Celebrated Kate Noonan Case." (1877)
On February 16, 1877, Kate Noonan shot and killed William Sidle outside the Nicollet House in Minneapolis. She was tried in June, but the jury deadlocked. When the judge dismissed the jury, Noonan was in her cell. Her attorneys sought to free her via a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that her absence from the courtroom barred a retrial. After the district court refused, she appealed to the supreme court, which heard oral argument on July 3, 1877. The next day, the "Pioneer Press" newspaper carried a lengthy account of that proceeding, one of the few we have of appellate arguments in this state in the late nineteenth century. In October the court dismissed her appeal, and she was retried in December. On December 24, 1877, the jury returned its verdict. Again, the "Pioneer Press" carried a long and colorful description of the atmosphere in the courtroom when the verdict was read.