The Eastern Chronicle, New Glasgow, N.S.
Friday, 28 December 1923:
Stellarton Shooting Ends Fatally
Cecil Lawrence, a young coal miner, of Evansville, Stellarton,
is in jail charged with the murder of Mrs. James Duff
belonging to the same place.
The shooting took place on Sunday night
following a drunken spree and fight at Evansville,
in which several people took part.
The story as related at the Coroner's Inquest
was that Mrs. Duff had gone to the front door to close the storm door
when Lawrence appeared with a shot gun.
There were some words between them.
Mrs. Duff telling him to put away the gun
and Lawrence calling her a dirty Canadian.
He fired two shots from the gun,
the loads entering her body and inflicting serious wounds.
She was taken to the hospital and there died on Christmas Day.
The Coroner's Jury had no difficulty in finding
that Mrs. Duff came to her death by being shot by Cecil Lawrence.
A charge of murder was immediately laid against Lawrence,
who had been under arrest,
and a companion Vincent Roubiski was also arrested
as accessory to the crime.
The charge against Roubiski is that he did
unlawfully counsel and abet one Cecil Lawrence
to murder Elizabeth Duff. R.D. Graham is Crown Prosecutor
and R.H. Graham, K.C., is acting for the prisoners.
The preliminary trial was to have opened
this morning before Stipendiary Finlay G. MacDonald,
but owing to the illness of R.H. Graham,
was adjourned until tomorrow morning.
Lawrence and Roubiski are both Poles and lived in the same house
at Evansville. There were found in their home
other implements such as black jacks, knives, etc.
indicating that these foreigners went about well armed.
The whole sordid story as revealed at the Coroner's Inquest,
is a rather astounding one
and it is not a surprise that such conditions should develop into the tragedy stage.
(*Cecil Lawrence was acquitted as not guilty at his trial )
The Duff family came from Cape Breton
and Mrs. Duff(nee Jello) was a native of Mulgrave.
Her husband is a locomotive engineer
in the employ of the Acadia Coal company.
There are nine children in the family,
the youngest an infant of about twelve months.
The remains of the victim of the tragedy
are now lying at the family residence
and the funeral will take place tomorrow
to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Stellarton.
Thanks to Carolyn Wallace for this obituary.