Sixteen-year old Clarence Long and an accomplice, George Hummel, also 16, attempted to rob William E. Mathias, a McKeesport poolhall owner, on December 22, 1907. When Mathias, who was carrying the day’s receipts from his Main St. business to his Pearl St. home, refused to hand over any money, Long shot him.
Hummel, who was arrested soon after the shooting, confessed and implicated Long, who was arrested on December 26. Long also confessed.
At trial a few weeks later, Hummel testified against Long in return for immunity from prosecution. Long was convicted of first-degree murder on January 23, 1908.
His counsel immediately filed for a new trial. Their complaint emphasized Long’s youth and immaturity and the hardships experienced by Long’s family. That request was granted on May 4, 1908. Had he been sentenced to death, Long would have been the youngest capital defendant in Allegheny County history.
At trial on September 18, 1908, Long pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years in Western Penitentiary by Judge Marshall Brown. He was out of prison by 1917, living in McKeesport, and working as a brakeman on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
Clarence Long died of heart disease on October 24, 1959. He was 68, retired, and living in McKeesport at the time of his death.