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Lawyer Convinces Jury – and Thief – of his Innocence

Brilliant defense attorney Samuel Abraham Jetmore gained national attention practicing law in small South Central Oregon towns.

Born in Missouri in 1874, Jetmore started his career as a railroad agent but decided to switch to law, graduating from the University of Michigan with a law degree.  After working for a few years as an attorney in Illinois, he and his wife, Julia, moved in 1909 to Lake County, Ore.  He practiced law in Paisley and then moved to Lakeview. 

He received national attention for winning the acquittal of rodeo performer Lorena Trickey, who had been charged with murdering her lover at the Lakeview Roundup.

It was said those who have never heard Jetmore address a jury have never really heard a true lawyer.

Jetmore was hired in another case by an accused horse thief known as Bill. Jetmore addressed the jury with a calm, assured voice that rose and swelled before falling to a final whisper. 

When Bill was acquitted, Sam asked him, man to man, if he had really stolen the horse.  Bill replied, “When I came in here I was fairly certain I was guilty, but after hearing your plea, I have a reasonable doubt.”

Sources:  Jackman, E.R. and Long R.A.  The Oregon Desert.  Caldwell Idaho:  Caxton Printers, 1964. 78. Print; Evening Herald. 1 Aug. 1939 [Klamath Falls.]: 3. Print.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.