Here's the text of the piece from the Pine Bluff paper:
Guilty as Charged
The Muse Jury Returns a Verdict of Guilty in the First Degree
The jury in the Muse murder case this morning returned a verdict of guilty in the first degree after being out since five o'clock last evening.The verdict was a surprise to a majority of those who watched the progress of the trial, it being the general impression that the defendant would be given a term of imprisonment.This trial was one of the most interesting ever held in Pine Bluff, occupying an entire week.The best legal talent of the state was arrayed on either side, and the case was a battle of giants from the start.Prosecuting attorney Smith C. Martin was assisted by Mr. Sam M. Taylor and these gentlemen are to be congratulated upon the masterly manner in which the state was represented.The speeches of both gentlemen were brilliant efforts, Mr. Taylor's address being especially logical and eloquent.The defendant was represented by Col. Met L. Jones and Col. D. H. Rosseau, of this city, Judge G. W. Bruce of Conway and Mr. A. T. Harper of Denola.These gentlemen did all in their power for their client and made a brilliant fight for his life.When the verdict was rendered by the jury this morning counsel for the defense requested that they be given until Oct. 26 in which to file a motion for a new trial.The request was granted by the court.Those who were in the courtroom when the when the finding of the jury was announced say that the expression on the defendant's face did not change, and he seemed as unconcerned as a spectator The crime for which J. M. Muse was tried was the killing of Dr. L. B. Beard at Yorktown on August 2d last.Both men were very prominent citizens of Lincoln County and the murder created considerable excitement at that time. It was claimed by Muse that Beard had slandered his wife and daughter, although this claim was never thoroughly established during the trial.Muse was endicted by the Lincoln grand jury, but took a change of venue to this place. THE JURY Following were the jurors in the case: R. Horton, foreman; Ed. Russell; E. W. Barbour; G. H. Robinson; A. B. Craig; W. W. Andrews; W. C. Guest; H.T. Miller; B. F. Julian; Jas. Mitchell; Frank Mays; N. R. Rodges.A better jury could not have been selected.They are all good citizens, high-toned gentlemen -- men who will enforce the law as it stands.These gentlemen are to be congratulated upon the conservative and careful manner in which they weighed this case.Sheriff Triplett is to be congratulated upon his carefulness in selecting this jury, which he attended to personally.
My mother read a trial transcript at the county courthouse in the early 1970s, but did not make any copies at the time.The killing was not a quick loss of tempers; your great uncle fought a pretty good fight, wounding my great grandfather with a shotgun at one point but he was finally overwhelmed and died (my mother remembers his cause of death as having been beaten to death).The courthouse afterward suffered water damage which made many of the records unusable.I don't know if this trial record was damaged or destroyed.