May 30, 1909
Adam God is satisfied with the verdict of the jury which yesterday found him guilty of murder in the second degree, and fixed his punishment at twenty-five years in the penitentiary.
James Sharp, which is the fanatic's real name, was busy in the jail during the afternoon writing a miniature sermon about himself. He showed visitors one of the sheets which he had written and then remarked:
"That doesn't look like the writing of a crazy man, does it?" Then he laughed.
"In my blind walks," says Sharp in his statement, "I have been like a crazy man, but there is nothing crazy about m e. No crazy man could write with the understanding I have. I will always pray for my enemies, for they have been the making of me."
A great load seems to have been lifted off the prisoner's mind by the sentence. He speaks repeatedly and often of the kindness with which he has been treated.
"The police, bringing me back from Olathe, could have killed me," said he. "They did not even abuse me. I have had the best treatment all the time. Even the prosecuting attorney is my friend."
Twenty-five years is practically a life sentence for Sharp. It was testified during the trial that Sharp is 48 years old. From other sources is the information he is 52. With the one-fourth allowance for good behavior, the lapse of years yet seems to preclude the possibility of his ever leaving prison walls alive, unless pardoned by a governor. Since his confinement in the county jail Sharp has lost eighteen pounds. That has been in six months.
A second degree murder verdict on the part of the jury was unexpected. On the first ballot three of the jurors voted for capital punishment, three for acquittal on the grounds of insanity, one for manslaughter and the balance for second degree with varying terms of imprisonment. It took nearly nineteen hours to reach an agreement. Sharp had little comment to make when the jury reported at 10 o'clock.
It is not likely that the case of Mrs. Melissa Sharp, wife of the fanatic, will be called for trial until September.