1933 Orange attempted murder trial includes throat slash, strange allegiances

Published 12:02 am Friday, February 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Harry (Bud) Bounds, age 35, went to trial in the district courtroom in Orange on Oct. 10, 1933, on a charge of assault with intent to murder.

His wife, Ella Bounds, testified that her husband slashed her throat with a safety razor blade. They were separated, and she told him she would rather die than take him back. She stated Bounds held her down and slashed her throat two or three times.

Ella Bounds testified she was able to get away from Bounds and flee from the room. She ran outside and flagged down a motorist, who drove her to the hospital, where they were able to stop the flow of blood and treat her injuries.

She testified she and her husband had been separated eight days. He had been trying to get her back, but each time he tried, she refused him. On the afternoon of June 22 he had gone to her home and offered her a dollar to buy anything she had been needing.

“I told him I did not want his money,” she testified. She then said Bounds told her, “Well, then you’ll die.”

After he said that, he knocked her down to the floor, and with one hand raised her chin and began slashing her throat.

Harry Wheeler, a local undertaker, testified Bounds wrote a letter giving instructions for the disposition of the bodies of his wife and himself and also what should be done with his little boy.

Bounds took the stand and corroborated Wheeler’s testimony. However, he said he had not intended to kill his wife, only to scare her and prevent her from going to a dance with another man.

Mrs. Ruth Bounds, a former wife of Bounds, took the stand and testified during her acquaintance with Bounds he had never been convicted of a felony. She also stated she was the mother of four children.

The defendant was represented by Jack Benkenstein and E. C. Carrington. Both attorneys were from Beaumont.

The prosecution was tried by District Attorney Hollis Kinard and County Attorney James N. Neff.

The next day, Oct. 11, the Leader reported Bounds had been found guilty of assault with the intent to murder and had been given a sentence of 12 years in the state penitentiary.

The verdict had been rendered in the late afternoon of the preceding day after the jury deliberated for about only one hour.

Bounds shrugged his shoulders and was unable to speak when asked if the verdict was a surprise to him.

Mrs. Lucy Bounds, first wife of the defendant, testified on his behalf during the trial. After the verdict was read, she walked by Bounds side from the district courtroom to the jail.

“And now you know.”

— Written by Mike Louviere