Convinced Johnson Was Shot By Accident

District Attorney Closes Inquiry Into Wounding of Peggy Marsh’s Husband

PLATTSBURG, N.Y., Sept. 5.–Investigation of the accidental shooting of A. L. (Buddie) Johnson, husband of Peggy Marsh, at the camp of Jack Clifford, on Chateaugay Lake last Thursday night, was reopened and then closed again tonight by District Attorney Harold A. Jerry.

He announced he was more firmly convinced than ever that the shooting was accidental after closing the proceedings.

The District Attorney today visited the Clifford camp with Sheriff Coffey, talked with those present at the time of the shooting and after his return tonight issued his statement.

“There is absolutely nothing to show it was anything more than an accident.,” he said. “The case is closed as far as we are concerned.”

Ann Luther

Ann Luther, motion picture star, who is reported recently to have formed a company of her own at Great Neck, L.I., was among those at the camp when Johnson was wounded, according to a list of names made public by the District Attorney. Miss Luther is said to have been the one who revived Peggy Marsh John when she fainted after seeing her husband shoot himself. Two nieces of Miss Luther, 4 and 13 yeas old, also were at the camp, as well as a newphew, 10 years old. Two other children also were mentioned in the list, Jack and Myron Hirsch, 12 and 17 years old, described as “relatives of a friend of Mr. Clifford.”

Other named as being present were Basil Durant, a dancer, of 116 Easy Sixty-third street, New York City; Mr. and Mrs. William C. Fly, of 240 West Ninty-eighth Street, New York City; Charles H. Bacon of this city; Mr. Clifford, and Olive Sherringham, governess for Mrs. Johnson’s son.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson had gone to the Clifford camp to meet a booking agent, according to the District Attorney. The revolver which wounded Johnson is held by Mr. Jerry, as well as the shirt the wounded man wore. Powder stains on the shirt show the revolver exploded close to Johnson’s body, the District Attorney said.

The District Attorney recounted a story told him today, that Johnson, believing himself dying, had repeatedly said, “Be sure about this, it was an accident.”

The New York Times, September 6, 1922
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