Is it realistic to think that the Earps were already conferring with Fitch within a couple of hours of the street fight? I don't know, maybe they were, but I have never seen anything on it.
Further, isn't it true that the coroner's inquest could have helped prevent charges from gaining traction if the Earps had been able to give their side? You and Gary know the ins and outs much better than I do on these matters, but I would think testimony from the Earps could have quashed much of the pressure that allowed the prosecution to proceed with a case that was never very strong (despite latter day fanciful thinking), even with the coronerís inquest being one-sided against the Earps.
As Tom has pointed out, it was never very likely that the prosecution would have been able to convince twelve Tombstone men that the police chief committed murder when everyone in town knew that Ike Clanton had spent the night and morning before the street fight threatening to kill the Earps and Holliday on sight. Rather, what played out was one the clearest cases of political theater in the annals of frontier legal gamesmanship. Because, if anything, legal gamesmanship is even more popular today, many are still willing to indulge in whimsy.
Given all of this, I would think your first option is far more likely.
Gary, Two possibilities arise as to why the police involved in the shooting were not called to testify in the Coroner's inquest: 1.) Behan successfully managed to manipulate Matthews in the selection ... more
Re: Two possibilities.. harveycmd,Fri Apr 20 09:09