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The body was removed home, and the surgeons would tell them that the scalp had three lacerated wounds from the right eye to the head – there was much discolouration from the forehead to the chin – the right eye was swollen up – the right ear was cut – and there was a series of longitudinal scratches on his back, which would account for the way in which he had been dragged to the river, and proved that his body had been trailed after his coat and waistcoat had been taken off. Under the scalp there was a quantity of coagulated blood – the skull was much shattered – and there were four fractures extending along the base of the skull. There was no doubt that the man died from severe blows inflicted upon him, and which had caused fractures of the skull. These blows must have been inflicted by some blunt instrument – the butt end of a gun, a heavy stick or some such instrument. There was one point, however, of the greatest importance in the case. The deceased had not a bruise on any part of his body – he had not a scratch on his arm  - in fact he had no mark to indicate that he had been fighting. If he had been fighting it might have been expected he would have had bruises on his arm. After the body had been taken home, Elliot and Dixon went again to the place where the blood had been originally discovered, and found some small pieces of wood, apparently belonging to a gun stock, and a small piece of ramrod. He thought at this stage of the inquiry the jury would be satisfied that the deceased met with a violent death; then the question would arise who was the person who caused his death.

From various circumstances known in the neighbourhood suspicion alighted on William Graham and also on his brother Henry. Pharoah, the policeman, in consequence took out a warrant and proceeded to their house, in order to search for anything that might lead to traces of their guilt. When he went there he found William Graham coming out of his house, and he immediately told him his business. The prisoner did not appear in the slightest disconcerted; but said if he would go in he would find his mother burning a gun. Accordingly when Pharoah did go in, he found the mother burning a gun stock under the oven. It would turn out that this was not a very important matter, as the gun stock she was burning was one which had nothing to do with this murder. It might be, from certain circumstances, she wished to destroy the guns; that she thought they were not useful or beneficial things for her sons to have. However the man was missing on Sunday; on the Monday they had the prisoner’s mother burning the stock of a gun; and further it would be shown that on the Sunday the prisoner and his relatives were engaged in searching for the deceased. William and Henry Graham were taken into custody; and on the road to Kirkoswald William said, “I was drunk on Saturday night, and I know nothing about it. I had been in a neighbour’s house and he will be a witness I was drunk”. The prisoner also said he had never spoken with Simpson till the Friday, when he and his brother saw him on the road with a young horse; and that he and his brother had sought for his body. The prisoner was taken to the police office; he was searched but nothing important was found on him. He was examined from head to foot, and with the exception of an old sore on one of his legs, there was not a scar on his body. Therefore if he had been engaged in conflict with any one he had escaped from injury; and that fact, along with the fact that there were no marks upon the deceased, were material circumstances for the jury’s consideration