Dr. Charles P. Wood admitted that Elvira Woodward had come to his house in Manchester, New Hampshire, on the first of April, 1871 and remained there until her death later that month. He said that she'd expelled a dead fetus two days after her arrival, and that she suffered from puerperal fever. Elvira took ill, languishing and finally dying on the 27th, at about 2:30 PM, at Wood's house.

Dr. Wood was convicted of performing the fatal abortion on Elvira. It is unclear how the prosecutor or the jury identified him, from among all the doctors who had attended Elvira, as the guilty party. Still, Elvira's abortion was typical of pre-legalization abortions in that it was performed by a physician.

Coverage of the trial included a bit of Wood's history:

Dr. Wood has resided in this city for several years, and, until recently, has been regarded as a good citizen and a respectable man. Some years ago, desiring to make a living more easily, he left a mechanical pursuit, studied dentistry a few months, and opened an office. Meeting with no serious obstacle in this branch of business, he enlarged his sphere of operations, and in a little time became a homeopathic physician and subsequently undertook the allopathic system, and was announced as a Doctor. He opened a hospital in Museum Building and took patients home for treatment, and at first was not suspected of violating the laws of the State. At length it came to be understand that his place was mainly appropriated to the treatment of those unfortunate women who have sought to cover one crime by the commission of another.

Wood's fast-track dental and medical licensing was not unusual for the time.