...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 Prosecution was cowed, despite the fact that the unfolding testimony was so damaging that Spicer had no choice but to jail the defendants. Does this suggest that witnesses were untrustworthy? McLaury had to push hard but got it done; not because of the brilliant Prosecution lawyers.
The prosecution consistently dropped the ball with witness after witness, which is a whole 'nother subject if you ever want to discuss it sometime. They should have been embarrassed!
McLaury wrote that the Prosecution was intimidated and he was extremely disappointed. You can reject his evaluation if you choose, but there is no solid reason to reject his words. The man's reputation does not infer he is crooked or a liar.
You suggest, randomly, that the Prosecution witnesses were unreliable. Based on what? You give no examples. Most of the witnesses for the Prosecution supported the ranchers' position. The only ones who really supported Wyatt's story were Wyatt, Virgil, and the mysterious Mr. Sills. And even then, they couldn't keep their stories straight with each other despite some oversight by the theatrical clown, Fitch!
As a Canadian, I do repeatedly put the 'u' in my spelling of anything with 'ou.' You will have to get used to it as I am unteachable in the reverse.
I do not understand how Holliday, stepping up to Frank McLaury, prodding Frank in the gut with a pistol, and then stepping back a couple of steps before firing into him indicates the Earps' did not turn the corner and 'shoot them on sight.' Which corner are we talking about? If it is the corner of Fly's building, that does not coincide with witness testimony very well. Mr. Light testified that he looked out his window on the corner of Third and Fremont and saw the Earp party spread out across the front of Fly's and the vacant lot, and he says they were about ten or fifteen feet apart, about the center of the street. I cannot think of a good reason to think Mr. Light untrustworthy either.
This appears to be a strategy to cover any movement on the part of the ranchers, but that is the way I see it. I still cannot understand why the Earp party was even down there on Fremont. The sheriff of the county, a legitimate lawman, was already dealing with any perceived problem and seemed to have everything under control. There was no report of shouting, threats, arguing, and so on and this was a busy business street so there were a lot of people on it; far more than the eye-witnesses that were called. There was no report in the newspapers by anyone that Behan was threatened or being argued with.
I am suspicious of Bourland because I think she was a Defense witness who was not truthful. Perhaps she just didn't want to be involved but even Spicer was unsure. She described Holliday prodding Frank, then the shooting began. She claims she immediately turned to the back of the house. But she describes the shooting as 'involving everyone!' How could she know that if all she saw was Doc stepping back from Frank? She claims in the beginning seeing 'no one' with 'hands in the air,' yet Virgil, making a big deal of raising both his arms up and even switching hands and wearing dark sleeves, was between her and the ranchers, this before shooting and her leaving the window. She didn't see that? She also didn't see Frank staggering toward her when he was first shot, yet claims 'everyone was shooting." Which is it? Spicer questioned her but she stood her ground, word for word, almost rehearsed. Most people do not repeat their words in that manner. They tend to loosen it up a little.
Williams is a poor example. Based on what, can you take his word that Behan Lied? Williams appeared to be a friend of Virgil's. That is a shaky one.
If you read Coleman's statement, you see that the four men, Billy Clanton on horseback, Frank McLaury walking and leading his horse, Ike Clanton walking, and also what seems to be Billy Claibourne. All are described as walking right across Allen street from Dunbar's to the entrance to the O.K. alleyway where Coleman was standing. Virgil's description, looking down Allen street from where he was on the corner of Fourth, is the same. He also describes the four walking right across without stopping to gather. So now you have Sills, who tells us he was standing right there on Allen when the four we are talking about have stopped to confer about killing Virgil, this between Coleman and Dunbar's. He claims to be a few steps from them, can hear these threats, and the dumb ranchers don't even know he is not one of them! On top of that, Neither Virgil or Coleman report seeing this Sills standing there with the huddled group of ranchers, in full view, and taking in all these vicious threats.
I think Sills needs a closer examination! At what point Billy might have dismounted is neither here nor there. The point is, Coleman talked with Billy as Billy passed him on the horse so if Billy dismounted further in the O.K. alley it makes no difference as it does not change Coleman's account. At the time Coleman saw him, Billy was on his horse!!!
All cowboys are not outlaws! I have known a number of them and they were law-abiding for the most part. It is unreasonable to quote a newspaper that chooses to lump them all together and make them into outlaws. The county was full of hard working cowboys who never had reason to kill or rob. Most had an unwritten code of honour they lived by and was important to them. If you think I don't know the difference between Roy, Gene, and their guitars and the real McCoy, you are really living a sheltered life. I have been bucked off, trampled, worked cattle, shared in branding and cleaned worms out of navels in newborn calves. I paid my dues!