The purpose for attorneys on both sides was to win the case. That was their sole purpose. They were not trying to create a historical record because they anticipated that we would someday discover the internet and have continuing debates.
The issue of the preliminary hearing was whether the Earps and Holliday shot down surrendering men with their arms in the air. This was the whole point.
It is critical to remember that this was a preliminary hearing. That means that if further evidence was discovered, the Earps could be again taken to another hearing, or the evidence could be presented to the Grand Jury. For example, if Fellehy were to later testify that he had been threatened by the Earps, that would probably be grounds for a new hearing. In fact, Clanton and his attorneys attempted that with the Contention hearing, which was really an end run around the judicial system.
Here is another point. If it could be shown that Sills was either a plant or was lying, that would be cause to re-open the case.
It is important to remember that folks at the time knew things we cannot know. For example, We can wonder why Fellehy or other witnesses were not called. Harry Woods and Richard Rule were on the scene. They could walk over the Ben Goodrich and ask him why they were not called. If Goodrich were to say, “He didn’t pan out,” then that was not a story worth reporting about a witness not worth calling.
What happened, in brief, is that several shady witnesses testified to support the rustlers. You have career criminal Billy Allen, dubious drunk Wesley Fuller, Claiborne and Ike as the key witnesses. Then you have the well-respected Behan to lock it up. That is why the Williams testimony is so critical — he said that Behan was lying.
During the prosecution case, evidence seemed to indicate guilt, and Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday were sent to Behan’s jail. This indicates that the prosecution did quite a good job of presenting its case.
Things started to fall apart at the end. Under cross examination, Ike claimed that the Earps had confided their deepest secrets to him, which would have made Wyatt the dumbest man in A.T. The defense then put on its case, and the prosecution’s version fell apart. Sills and Borland were critical. Williams was devastating.
Goodrich & Co. did a masterful job. They were saddled with un-credible clients.
You mention Wesley Fuller. Fitch brought his testimony into question by insinuating that Fuller had not actually seen the fight because he was dallying with a prostitute. If that were not true, all the prosecution attorneys would have had to do is call Mattie Webb to the stand to disagree. Mattie was not called.
Your whole argument is that the attorneys were such a bunch of flub-ups that they bungled the case. When you examine the glowing credentials of Goodrich and his team, that seems pretty durned unlikely.
...the 'dream team,' on both sides. I am really concerned about the willingness to accept the outstanding credentials of these men and yet I see what I consider very poor performance. I suspicion their... more
If you believe Wes Fuller testimony, his observations were made near the vacant Lot where the gunfight occurred. How can you continue to insist that the Earp LAWMAN POSSE entered the lot with guns drawn,... more
I am just saying that everyone who testified at that hearing had an agenda. And Fuller's is no more, or less important than any of the others'. The job of separating the wheat from the chaff belonged... more
...Placement of their weapons took place while the Earp group was gathered in the intersection of Fourth and Allen streets. Fuller describes himself as "...standing on the corner of Fourth and Allen streets,... more
No one testified that more than one Cowboy was "poked in the stomach the Lawmen. The only testimony to this is Addie Bourland which seems to indicate Holliday did this to one of the McLaury's. Where... more
Let's try again — Casey Tefertiller,Mon Nov 21 2022 9:51
Price was in the tank for the Earps and Holliday. Williams (can't remember his first name) was a man who had served as a lawyer for the Earps in other legal matters. Why was Williams, by Price's appointment,... more
Casey, Thank you for the crash course as there is always much to learn when it comes to complications of the Law at any time in history, and more so now. And in all fairness, one has to recognize that... more
Joyce. About complications of the law I mean. My dad always expressed his amazement that we Americans elected so many lawyers to make our laws for us. For him the ultimate conflict of interest was lawyers... more
Joyce, Before I can respond, I need to ask a couple of questions. First, why do you believe Billy Clanton was still sitting on his horse? I would have expected he would have dismounted, but that... more
...I think you are being a little unfair in assuming Ike was 'shooting off his mouth' to anyone he could. Actually, other than the episode in the courtroom after Virgil arrested him, no one who witnessed... more
Folks who support the Earps continue to pose that Ike was the agressor. When Ike came into the Alhambra on Oct. 25, he began to eat the lunch he ordered. No harsh words were spoken until Morgan and Wyatt... more
...regarding the Holliday time. People my age find that most of their family are spread all over the country and time and distance make a difference in gathering together. No one comes to grandma's house... more
Joyce, I have been tied up, but I wanted to clear up some points. Your initial complaint was that — in your opinion — the Dream Team did a lousy job. That is clearly not true because until almost... more
were such despicable characters, why is it they had so many friends in town (and please, butchers were a small percentage of the residents of Tombstone)? Even the pro-Earp Epitaph said the Clanton-McLaury... more
...in a number of ways. However, let's not forget that if poor Will McLaury, who was no criminal lawyer, had not seen what he was up against, it might have been worse. When he arrived and could see the... more