TRUE CRIME TUESDAY: Did you know that Michigan was the first English-speaking government in the world to abolish the death penalty? The Mitten officially outlawed the practice in 1846, but had ceased sentencing prisoners to death long before that date. In fact, there had been no executions in Michigan since before it joined the Union in 1837. And then came along Anthony Chebatoris.
On September 29, 1937, career criminals Anthony Chebatoris and Jack Gracy bungled a robbery of the Chemical State Savings Bank in Midland, MI. What was supposed to be a simple cash grab quickly escalated out of control, resulting in Chebatoris shooting the bank president and a teller. As the outlaws fled the bank, vigilante dentist Dr. Frank Hardy began firing at them with his rifle through the window of his second floor office. Chebatoris fired back, hitting an innocent bystander.
Chebatoris's accomplice was killed by Dr. Hardy, and Chebatoris was apprehended as he tried to flee in a stolen car.
Since the robbery of an FDIC insured bank is a federal offense, he was tried in Federal court. When one of his victims died from his gunshot wounds, Chebatoris was charged with capital murder and sentenced to death.
On July 8, 1938, Anthony Chebatoris was hanged from the gallows at the Federal Detention Farm in Milan, MI, making him the only prisoner executed in the State of Michigan. #TrueCrimeTuesday #TrueCrime #MichiganHistory #PureMichigan #DementedMittenTours