THE LATE HIGH PRIEST.
Testimony Showing that the Rev. Mr. Kedrolivansky Came to His Death from a Fracture of the Skull.
Coroner Dorr held and inquest yesterday afternoon in the case of Rev. Paul J. Kedrolivansky, arch-priest of the Greek Church of California, who died last Wednesday afternoon in the City Receiving Hospital. From the testimony given it appeared that the deceased came to his death from cerebral hemorrhage, following a fracture of the skull. On last Monday night the Rev. Mr. Kedrolivansky was at the "Tivoli" with a friend, where he had some beer, and at a later hour visited B. Rosenthal, a tobacconist, on Washington street, where he remained in conversation for a couple of hours. He was at that time somewhat under the influence of liquor. Among other things he spoke of being afraid of being out late at night, as he had in his possession a paper which was very damaging to a Russian priest, and that the priest would spend $10,000 to become possessed of it. He exhibited the paper, but did not disclose its contents. At midnight he was in a liquor saloon on Kearny street, but was sober enough to take care of himself. Shortly before two oclock on the morning of Tuesday Special Officer Stivers found him sitting on the door step of a saloon on the corner of California and Spring streets, and endeavored to arose him, but was unable to do so. He managed, however, to get him on his feet and got him to the corner of California and Kearny streets, where he became so helpless that he was obliged to sit on a step. He then went for a cup of black coffee to see if he could not rouse him by making him drink it. Before he returned, however, officers Brinkley and Hill saw him; and believing that he was drunk, placed him in a hack and had him conveyed to the Central Station, where he was booked for drunkenness. He was searched and his property, consisting of a watch, keys, and half a dollar, turned over to the prison keeper. One of the arresting officers was positive that he did not take any papers from the prisoner, while the prison keeper who was on watch at the time, was under the impression that he received from the officers a lot of papers, one, a long one, folded in the centre among he number. At the time of his arrest he had on a suit of dark clothes, which was not soiled, and a silk hat which he wore did not appear to have been damaged. After having been searched the insensible prisoner was picked up by a "trusty," who half carried and half dragged him to one of the cells. The prisoner could not give his name, but as the prison keeper recognized him as a man whom he knew and who had been previously arrested for intoxication, the prisoner was allowed to remain in the cell until half-past four oclock in the morning, at which time he was transferred to another cell, in order that the one in which he had been might be cleaned out. He was subsequently returned to the first cell, and all this time he remained insensible and was breathing heavily. At nine oclock in the morning the prisoner had not recovered consciousness; so the attention of the hospital steward, a prisoner serving out sentence, was called to him. He examined him and said that he was drunk. The police surgeon came into the hospital at about ten oclock and remained till twelve, but neither the hospital steward nor any one else called his attention to the insensible prisoner, although he had given orders to be called to see any person charged with drunkenness who had been unconscious for six hours. At half-past twelve, one of the "trusties," also a prisoner under sentence, called the prison-keepers attention to Kedrolivansky, who was still unconscious. He had him removed to the hospital portion of the prison, and had the surgeon summoned. The man was treated, but he was beyond human help, and died shortly thereafter. W. Weletsky, the Consul-General at this port for Russia, who was examined as a witness, said that the paper to which allusion had been made, and upon which Kedrolivansky is represented as having set a price, was only a translated copy of an affidavit, made by a lady in a suit for divorce, and that he did not think it was of any value whatever, as the original is still in existence. The affidavit contains charges against the moral character of a priest of the Greek Church. The paper was not among the effects received by the property clerk from the prison-keeper, and the silk hat which the deceased wore at the time he was arrested has also disappeared, it having been given to another prisoner who claimed it.
The jury returned the following verdict: "That Paul J. Kedrolivansky, a native of Russia, forty-two years of age, came to his death from hemorrhage caused by a fracture of the skull produced by some person or persons unknown. We censure the method of keeping prison records which give but little idea of the place where persons are arrested, the loose manner of keeping property belonging to prisoners, the rough manner of handling prisoners who are in a questionable condition, the neglect of prison-keepers for not examining prisoners and not reporting sick persons, and condemn the system of employing "trusties" in responsible positions."
The San Francisco Daily Morning Call, June 23, 1878.