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A.M. Haas Homicide

20 Nov 1920, New Orleans Times Picayune



Brother of State Senator is Tragedy Victim—Slayer Justifies Deed



Says He was Wronged and Dies in Move to Get Redress


Opelousas, La, Nov 17.  A.M. Haas, a leading young business man of Opelousas, is dead and Roger Dufilho, also in business here, is in the St. Landry parish jail here charged with murder, as a result of an encounter at the Ben Riseman store this afternoon, the trouble growing out of a misunderstanding, according to friends of the two men. Dufilho claims that he shot in self defense. 


Haas died with his finger on the trigger of his pistol after being shot twice as he started to enter the doorway of the Riseman store where Dufilho was employed to question the latter about reports reflecting upon his character which he had been told Dufilho, formerly his friend, had circulated. Both were married and the victim of the tragedy was the son of the late Captain Samuel Haas, a brother of Dr. John A. Haas, and State Senator Leon S. Haas, and married to a sister of Mayer E. T. Loeb. He is survived by his wife and one child. Mr. Dufilho was connected with the Riseman establishment and was looked upon as a young man of excellent domestic habits and strict attention to business.  The funeral of Haas will take place from the family residence tomorrow.


The homicide occurred at the front door of the Riseman establishment at the corner of Market and Landry streets, one of the most prominent business corners in Opelousas. Dufilho fired three times.  Two shots taking effect, and Haas died almost instantly, his body falling practically in the main doorway of the establishment.


According to the testimony at the coroner’s inquest, it appears that Haas was on friendly terms with Hypolite Robin, a brother-in-law of young Dufilho, that Dufilho repeated a conversation which Haas is alleged to have had with Robin’s wife over a party line to another brother-in-law, Preston Holier, the latter repeating the Dufilho version of the conversation to Robin. The substance of Haas alleged telephone conversation was something repeated in the absence of Robin, from his home.


Haas stopped by Robin’s place of business this morning with young Landry, a friend of his. When Robin repeated the substance of the reports which had reached him, Haas vehemently denied having any such conversation and insisted that Robin go with him to see Dufilho for an explanation. Robin replied to Haas that he did not believe Haas would do any such thing that he attached no importance to the report and would see Dufilho about it himself.


Haas, however insisted that he had been placed in an improper light, and together with Robin and Landry, drove into Opelousas, where after attending to several matters, he stopped the automobile in front of the Riseman establishment.


Dufilho and Riseman were standing outside, Dufilho being an employee.  As Haas stepped from the automobile which he was driving, Dufilho went into the store and as Haas reached the outside, Dufilho fired, the bullet striking Haas in a vital spot.


Both Robin and Landry say that they never got out of the automobile and that Haas never drew his weapon or attempted to draw it until after the second shot had been fired and Haas was mortally wounded and had fallen to the floor of the store.


While Dufilho has made no formal statement and is confined to the parish prison, it is stated by his friends, that he acted in self defense and only fired at Haas when his life was in peril and after Haas had drawn his weapon.


The peculiar feature of the affair is that Dufilho and Haas had apparently been good friends, and the common belief is that the affair resulted from a misunderstanding. Both of the young men had excellent reputations and were active in business here.

Owner/SourceNew Orleans Times-Picayune
Date20 Nov 1920
Linked toAlexander Murdock HAAS

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