On the evening of March 5th, 1770 a group of sailors provoked British soldiers on guard by throwing snow balls and threatening them with clubs and sticks. Soon the situation grew out of control and soldiers started shooting at the rebels. Five were the casualties of this event known as the Boston Massacre. The victims were Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Coldwell, Patrick Carr and Crispus Attucks.
Five indictments were presented in the Boston Massacre Trial for the killing of five civilians. The defense team was led by future president John Adams who represented Captain Thomas Preston and the eight soldiers. The indictment for the death of Crispus Attucks describes how he died and accuses William Warren for his death by firing two bullets that hit him in the chest. Captain Preston and his eight soldiers were accused of aiding, helping and assisting William Warren to commit the felony.
The indictment was dated March 13, 1770 and according to the accusation William Warren shot Crispus Attucks twice. The first shot hit Attucks in the right breast and a second shot in the left breast creating two wounds, each of six inches deep and one inch wide. The wounds were mortal and Crispus Attucks died instantly.
AT his Majesty’s Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and general Gaol Delivery, begun and held at Boston, within, and for the County of Suffolk, on the second Tuesday of March, in the tenth year of the reign of GEORGE the THIRD, by the Grace of GOD, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, &c.
The Jurors for the said Lord the King, upon their oath present, that Thomas Preston, Esq. William Wemms, labourer, James.Hartegan, labourer, William McCauley, labourer, Hugh White,labourer, Matthew Killroy, labourer, William Warren, labourer,John Carrol, labourer, and Hugh Montgomery, labourer, all now resident in Boston, in the County of Suffolk, and Hammond Green, boat builder, Thomas Greenwood, labourer, Edward Manwaring, Esq. and John Munroe, gentleman, all of Boston aforesaid, not having the fear of God before their eyes, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil and their own wicked hearts, did, on the fifth day of this instant March, at Boston aforesaid, within the county aforesaid, with force and arms, feloniously, willfully, and of their malice aforethought, assault one Crispus Attucks, then and there being in the peace of God, and of the said Lord the King, and that he the said William Warren, with a certain hand gun of the value of twenty shillings, which he the said William Warren then and there held in both his hands, charged with gun powder and two leaden bullets, then and there, feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought, did shoot off, and discharge at and against the said Crispus Attucks, and that the said William Wan-en, with the leaden bullets as aforesaid, out of the said hand gun, then and there by force of the said gun powder so shot off and discharged as aforesaid, did then and there, feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought, strike, penetrate and wound the said Crispus Attucks in and upon the right breast, a little below the right pap of him the said Crispus, and in and upon the left breast, a little below the left pap of him the said Crispus, thereby giving to him the said Crispus, with one of the bullets aforesaid, so shot off and discharged as aforesaid, in and upon the right breast, a little below the right pap of him the said Crispus, one mortal wound of the depth of six inches, and of the width of one inch ; and also thereby giving to him the said Crispus, with the other bullet aforesaid, so shot off and discharged by the said “William Warren as aforesaid, in and upon the left breast, a little below the left pap of him the said Crispus, one other mortal wound of the depth of six inches, and of the width of one inch, of which said mortal wounds, the said Crispus Attucks then and there instantly died; and that the aforesaid Thomas Preston, William “Wemms, James Hartegan, William M’Cauley, Hugh White, Matthew Killroy, William Warren, John Carrol, Hugh Montgomery, Hammond Green, Thomas Greenwood, Edward Manwaring, and John Munroe, then and there, feloniously, willfully, and of their malice aforethought, were present, aiding, helping, abetting, comforting, assisting, and maintaining the said William Warren, to do and commit the felony and murder aforesaid.
And so the Jurors aforesaid, upon their said oath, do say, that the said Thomas Preston, William Wemms, James Hartegan, William M’Cauley, Hugh White, Matthew Kilroy, William Warren, John Carrol, Hugh Montgomery, Hammond Green, Thomas Greenwood Edward Manwaring, and John Munroe, then and there, in manner and form aforesaid, feloniously, willfully, and of their malice aforethought, did kill and murder the said Crispus Attucks, against the peace of the said Lord the King, his crown and dignity.
JON. SEWALL, Att. pro. Dom. Rege.
This is a true Bill, WM. TAYLOR, Foreman.