"The Murdered Party"

(Original air date 11/17/65)


Jarrod reluctantly agrees to defend a corrupted citizen accused of murdering a wealthy
affluent man, aware that the main witness to the crime is Heath


Writer: Jack Curtis

Director: Virgil W. Vogel

Heath drives into town on an errand at the train station, but ends up witnessing the gruesome murder of reputable businessman Colonel Ashby in a shady alley. He chases after the murderer that he identifies as hoodlum Korby Kyles (Warren Oates) who denies killing the affluent man.


The next morning, Jacob Kyles (Larry D. Mann) and his two sons, Emmet (Fred Holliday) and Alan (Paul Potash) barge in the Barkleys’ household while the family is gathered at the breakfast table discussing last night’s crime. Desperate for a lawyer to defend his son from what he considers a gross mistaken identity, he pleads with Jarrod to take on the case, but Jarrod refuses on the grounds that Heath was an eyewitness to the murder.


Later, Jarrod drops into town to questions D.A. Clem Greene (Paul Fix), barber Slim (Jim Boles) and newspaper editor George Alison (Bill Quinn) regarding the alleged accusations against Korby Kyles. All agree that the ruffian is a menace to the community and that he should be put away for his crime. However, Jarrod begins to harbour serious doubts about Korby’s guilt and believes that any citizen has a right to a fair trial. The possibility of his representing Korby in court outrages his sister Audra who is siding with the Colonel’s widow.


Jarrod comes home as Audra and Heath discuss the new orphanage. Heath follows him to say that he’s unyielding in his belief that Korby is guilty of the murder, but will not challenge Jarrod’s decision to defend the man if he so chooses.

In town, Jarrod drops by the Sheriff’s office (Mort Mills) to confront Korby and warns that no lawyer will represent him under the circumstances. Korby shocks him by revealing that their almighty Colonel Ashby’s wealth comes from trading in opium and that the Chinaman slaughtered him in that alley during the payoff. He was chasing after the real criminal when Heath jumped him and beat him senseless. He insists on being the victim of a mistaken identity.


In addition to Audra’s anger over his contemplating defending Korby, Jarrod has to deal with Nick’s temper, but remains composed in the midst of the turmoil.

He rides over to the Kyles’ farmhouse to speak with Jacob. While engrossed in conversation, Emmet and Alan steal silver coins from his saddle bag. Evidence that the Kyles are corrupted to the bones doesn’t deter Jarrod from his moral duties.


Victoria visits with Jarrod at his office to inform him of Colonel Ashby’s widow’s ultimatum. She will withdraw her offer to donate a parcel of land to the new orphanage should Jarrod agree to defend Korby Kyles and by the same token, he will discredit Heath’s testimony and end up hurting him.

Jarrod’s secretary comes in with the news that the town judge has requested that Matt Cooper (Karl Held) handle the Kyles’ file. Jarrod discovers that the young self-centered lawyer was appointed to the case against his own judgment, and that his only concern is losing in court, knowing that it might hurt his career. Matt’s belief that Korby Kyles is the killer profoundly disturbs Jarrod.

Later that night in the barn, Heath gets a surprise visit from Jacob and his two boys who threaten him against testifying.


Back at the house, a beaten Heath describes his encounter with the Kyles and how they threatened the family should he testify against Korby. At that moment, Jarrod surprises everyone by announcing that he’s taking the case.


During the next few days, Jarrod roams around the scene of the crime to gather evidence that the town’s newspaper editor might have overlooked in his article.

Tension is palpable at the breakfast table when it is announced that Mrs. Ashby has withdrawn her offer to donate the land. Jarrod pledges to his distraught sister that he will use his influence to obtain another plot of land for the orphanage once the trial is over. He then preps Heath for the grilling he’ll face in court and the young sibling assures him that he’s ready for whatever big brother will throw his way.


Court day is at hand and Korby is first to be questioned by District Attorney Greene. He reiterates his innocence, saying that he was an innocent bystander who actually tried to stop the Chinaman from running away and he, himself, pulled the knife out of Colonel Ashby’s stomach.

Jarrod is next to call in his witness, Special Detective Asa Harmon who is investigating the illegal opium importation and sales. Colonel Ashby, a man of spotless reputation, was in fact an active member of an illicit narcotics traffic ring for over twenty years. It is therefore highly probable that his contact murdered him that night.

Heath is next to take the stand. Jarrod grills him up to the point where the young Barkley comes to dispute his own belief of what he truly witnessed that night.


D.A. Greene brings in Henry Bingham (Clegg Hoyt), a trained engineer, who was working at the station the night of the murder. The train’s bright spotlight shining on that alley allowed him to clearly identify the two men fighting: Colonel Ashby and Korby Kyles. He only came forward with his testimony when he heard that Heath Barkley’s was going to be challenged.

Korby becomes restless. He panics at Bingham’s accurate description of the crime scene and as a result, he inadvertently winds up incriminating himself.

Back at home, Jarrod is clearly ashamed to face the family in light of the outcome of the trial. However, much to his astonishment, all act as if nothing happened and assure Jarrod that the incident is now a thing of the past.


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