Verde Heritage 1921: Jerome Justice Court Scene of Shooting

March 10: "W. S. Kirby, night policeman of Jerome, and Emil Kovacovich, Jerome merchant, were wounded by shots fired by Kosta Katich. The shooting took place in the City Hall of Jerome at 7:30 o'clock following a heated argument between Katich and Kovacovich. Katich drew his gun and fired at Kovacovich and Kirby was wounded when he stepped in to take the gun from Katich, a .38 Colt's police special." (The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; March 18, 1921; page 3.)

"OUT OF HOSPITAL: W. S. Kirby, Jerome night policeman, was discharged this morning from the United Verde hospital where he has been since being shot several days ago by Kosta Katich. While he is able to walk and is on the high road to complete recovery, the doctors have ordered that he be careful for a few days more and remain pretty close at home." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 23, 1921; page 3.)

"HEARING OF CIVIL CASE BETWEEN EMIL KOVACOVICH AND KOSTA KATICH IS GIVEN NEW ANGLE."

"Special interest attaches to a civil suit scheduled to have been heard before the Superior Court yesterday, but postponed until 10 o'clock this morning, in which Emil Kovacovich, proprietor of the Kovacovich Mercantile company of Jerome, is suing Kosta Katich for sums alleged to be due him from Katich for supplies Kovacovich claims to have furnished the Katich hotel. The shooting scrape in Jerome last week in which W. S. Kirby, night policeman, and Kovacovich sustained flesh wounds from revolver shots alleged to have been fired by Katich, is said to have arisen directly from the suit which will be heard today." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 23, 1921; page 2; from Wednesday's Daily.)

"OUT AGAIN, IN AGAIN, KATICH PRISON RECORD."

"'Out again, in again,' might be the title of the act staged yesterday by Kosta Katich, Jerome hotel proprietor, arrested recently in connection with the shooting fracas in which Emil Kovacovich, Jerome merchant, and W. S. Kirby, night policeman, were wounded. After filing a bond for $2,500 with Judge McLane, Katich yesterday morning was released from jail, where he has been held pending trial on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. He stepped out of the sheriff's office ready and willing to enjoy his new-found freedom, when he was confronted with a second warrant for his arrest, on a charge of issuing a check with no funds in the bank. The warrant has been in the possession of county officers since the arrest of Katich 2 weeks ago. In fact, officers were ready to serve the warrants at the time of the shooting March 10. The alleged worthless check was issued to Joe Ranjel, of Jerome."

"Katich was taken to Jerome Wednesday by Sheriff Warren G. Davis, and there found 3 friends to go his bond on the assault charge, in the persons of Pastor Valdez, Frank Madrid and Pete Popovich. He returned to Prescott with Sheriff Davis, secure in the belief that on the morrow he would be free at least until his trial. He was unaware that at that moment Sheriff Davis had in his pocket the warrant for his arrest on the check charge, ready to serve at the dramatic psychological moment."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 30, 1921; page 3.)

"KATICH SUED BY BANK TO CLOSE ON MORTGAGE: Suit against Kosta Katich, Jerome hotel keeper, for a mortgage foreclosure, was filed in the Superior Court yesterday by the Bank of Arizona, which holds a mortgage on property owned by the couple in Jerome, for $3,200. The mortgage has been held from January 23, 1920. The bank is suing for foreclosure of the mortgage, for $2,750 due on the principal of the mortgage and $25.40 interest, and for recovery of sums amounting to $1,523.43, due on money advanced by the bank for improvements on the property since the execution of the mortgage, and finally for counsel fee not to exceed $450. Perry M. Ling is attorney for the bank." (Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 30, 1921; page 1.)

"KATICH FREED BY HIS JURY."

"After deliberating for 2 days and nights, a jury trying Kosta Katich on a charge of murderous assault against Emil Kovacovich yesterday morning returned to court with a verdict of not guilty."

"Consideration of the verdict by the jury was marked by the entrance of the jury into open court with a request that the testimony of Mrs. Kosta Katich be read from the reporter's notes, and even after this was done, the jury required 24 hours more in order to come to an agreement."

"The time consumed in arriving at a verdict is the longest on record in this county for some years, and was due, it was reported, to the fact the jury was divided 9 to 3 on the question of acquittal."

"Katich, a Serbian-American, was charged with having committed an assault against Emil Kovacovich, prominent merchant of Jerome and Prescott, in the Justice Court at Jerome, March 10 last. He fired several shots, it was shown, none of them taking effect on Kovacovich, but one bullet piercing the legs of William S. Kirby, a Jerome policeman."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; June 1, 1921; page 3; from Friday's Daily.)

KOSTA KATICH was born in Servia during March of 1873. He is the son of Atchin and Mattie (Jovana) Katich. He married Simona Milasmovich. Kosta Katich died in Jerome of gunshot wounds inflicted by an unknown person on December 28, 1925. His body was shipped to Los Angeles, California. (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.)

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