August 28, 1963 — William Zantzinger sentenced to six months jail for killing Hattie Carroll

In February 1963, William Zantzinger, a wealthy white tobacco grower, assaulted three employees of the Emerson Hotel in Baltimore, all of them black. One of the three, Hattie Carroll, died as a result of the injuries done to her, and Zantzinger was charged with her murder.

When William Zantzinger’s trial began, his lawyers swiftly petitioned to relocate the trial further away from the scene of events; the new judges (a panel of three) reduced the charge of murder to manslaughter. Zantzinger was convicted of manslaughter and the other assaults. For the latter charge, he was fined $125; for the former, a fine of $500 and six months imprisonment was his sentence.

For the rest of his life, Zantzinger claimed he was innocent, and threatened to sue Dylan for the song he wrote about the death of Hattie Carroll. He never did, though.