Demonstrative Evidence: Establishing the Guilt of Paul Hadley

Paul  Hadley, also known as William Estaver, was convicted of the murder of Anna Johnson in May 1922. At the time of Hadley’s arrest, a .32 automatic pistol, called a Spanish Mauser, was found in Hadley’s possession. The first recorded use of forensic ballistics evidence in trial established the guilt of Hadley. In April 1923, Hadley was executed following an unsuccessful appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. The only appellate court in the state at the time, it was the first time a state supreme court accepted ballistics as evidence. 

To demonstrate Hadley’s guilt, a former Yuma attorney A.J. Eddy used the Spanish Mauser found on Hadley to conduct ballistics testing. Eddy testified to his findings during two 1922 trials in Tucson, Arizona. In response to being presented with a bullet fired from a Spanish Mauser obtained by Hadley’s defense team, Eddy recalled his testimony in a typed letter. “I remember my answer was, ‘No, this bullet was not fired from the Estaver gun, but was fired from a gun with a similar twist.’” 

In the treatise Wigmore on Evidence, Eddy is given credit for introducing photographs of both the fatal bullet and test bullets as evidence. This online exhibit contains front and back scans of the original photographic exhibits introduced by the State of Arizona against Paul Hadley.

This material was gifted to the College of Law in 1952. 


Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona