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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XV - Page 507« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of David L. Johnston)

Mr. Hubert.
Is it within your jurisdiction to do that?
Mr. Johnston.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
Where did that occur?
Mr. Johnston.
That was in Captain Fritz' office of the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. Hubert.
Who else was present?
Mr. Johnston.
Mr. Bill Alexander--William Alexander--an assistant district attorney; Captain Fritz--these are---if I can remember them either two or three of the other homicide detectives; at least one Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, and which one I couldn't say at this time because we were just all in and out of there, and I'm almost sure it was one of the FBI agents, and which one, I couldn't say at this time because we were just all in and out of there, and I'm almost sure there wan one of' the FBI agents in the room and possibly a Secret Service agent.
Mr. Hubert.
Had you been called specially for this arraignment or did you happen to be there?
Mr. Johnston.
I was first called to handle the issuance of the search warrant involving the residence at 1026 North Beckley.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you issue that search warrant?
Mr. Johnston.
Yes; and not only did I issue the search warrant, I was requested by the officers to go with them and also Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander was in on that search also, which turned out to be the room in which Lee Harvey Oswald had been living on North Beckley. I was present when that search was made and also seizure of the things that were in his room.
Mr. Hubert.
Under Texas law is a man charged with murder required to be brought before a committing magistrate, such as you, right away ?
Mr. Johnston.
This Can be done immediately forthwith before the magistrate
or a reasonable period of time within a reasonable period of time of the filing.
Mr. Hubert.
What occurs at such time at such a proceeding?
Mr. Johnston.
In this particular incident, the complaint--the affidavit--was read to the defendant, Lee Harvey Oswald, at which time I advised him that this was merely to appraise him of his constitutional rights and what he was charged with.
Mr. Hubert.
This was not a court proceeding?
Mr. Johnston.
This was not the examining trial; no, sir. It was not the examining trial.
Mr. Hubert.
It did not call for a plea ?
Mr. Johnston.
It required no pleadings whatsoever; no, sir. This was merely to appraise him of what he was charged with and to advise him of his constitutional rights.
Mr. Hubert.
Did he make any comment upon that at all ?
Mr. Johnston.
Yes, sir; but I can't recall what it was. At this particular time he made some remark. Also at the second arraignment for the murder of President Kennedy, when he was brought through the door at this time, he said, "Well, I guess this is the trial," was the statement that he made then, but I don't remember what he said at the arraignment regarding Officer Tippit.
Mr. Hubert.
Now, let's pass to the arraignment concerning President Kennedy, and I wish you would dictate into the record the same information you did as to the first one.
Mr. Johnston.
All right, sir. This was the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald for the murder with malice of John F. Kennedy, cause No. F-154, The State of Texas versus Lee Harvey Oswald. The complaint was filed at 11:25 p.m., was accepted 'by me at 11:26 p.m. It was filed at approximately 11:25 p.m. by Capt. J. W. Fritz, homicide bureau of the Dallas Police Department, and was accepted by Henry Wade, criminal district attorney, Dallas County, Tex., and was docketed as cause No. 154, F-154 at 11:26 p.m.
Shortly after this is when the defendant was taken to the detail room or the assembly room.
Mr. Hubert.
What happened at this arraignment--was it the same as before?
Mr. Johnston.
He was not arraigned at this time. He was then arraigned after he was removed to the detail room where the press was allowed to have their first interview with the defendant, with Lee Harvey Oswald.
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