Ax attack in freight car kills hobo

by ellen miller for the denver post
april 19, 1994

One hobo was killed and two others were injured when they apparently were attacked with an ax by their traveling companions and thrown from a freight train near Parachute on Saturday night, authorities said yesterday.

"The guys are crazy and they just went crazy," victim Juanita Henson, 44, said from her bed yesterday in Clagett Memorial Hospital in Rifle.

Killed was Joseph Carbaugh, 28, of Wellsville, Utah, whom Henson identified as her future husband and owner of the ax. He used it to cut firewood, she said.

"They took it out of our duffel bag," she said. "They killed a really good guy."

Michael Bradley, 26, of Arkansas, and Frank Boyce, 49, of Pueblo, were arrested for investigation of second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal trespass. They were ordered held on $50,000 bail each after a short hearing yesterday in Garfield County Court.

Two other transients, Michael Smith, 43, and Michael Barboza, 23, were sentenced to three days in jail for trespass but weren't charged in connection with the assaults.

Garfield County Undersheriff Levy Burris said the party of transients apparently had been traveling together for some time, and had boarded the freight train in Grand Junction earlier Saturday evening.

Weapon described

He said the weapon was a Pulaski, a combination pick-ax and hoe most often used by firefighters on forest fires.

Shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday, a sheriff's deputy found James Friday, 43, staggering along Interstate 70 near Parachute.

Friday was bleeding from the face and back and said he'd been thrown from the train. Friday was treated for his injuries and admitted for observation at Clagett Memorial.

Also injured

A short time later, Henson, suffering injuries to her face and head, was found east of Parachute. She was listed in fair condition yesterday.

At 8 p.m. Carbaugh's body was found near west Rifle by a Southern Pacific employee. An autopsy was performed Sunday but Burris wouldn't release the results.

Henson said she expected to be released from the hospital today and would talk to authorities about the incident.

"They'll have to put me up somewhere," she said. "They'll want to talk to me about it but I don't remember everything."