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Tom Gaumer
Help explain Prosecution lawyers and W. S. Williams please
Wed Aug 30, 2017 01:09

Can someone explain this Spicer Hearing testimony to me and how the lawyers could be so bad and author Turner so confused?

"W.S. Williams

On this second day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause of the examination of Wyatt Earp and J.H. Holliday; W.S. Williams, a witness of lawful age, being produced and sworn deposes and says as follows:"

Williams testified on the 28st of November, 1881 according to a calendar prepared, it would seem more accurately, by Earl Chafin. Turner in one of his footnotes knows this is a Defense witness. Thus he should know Williams could not have testified that early in the hearing but would have us believe he copied the date of the 2nd of November from Hayhursts copied transcript or Turner just made a mistake?

“My name is W. S. Williams, 311 Fourth Street, Tombstone, Arizona Territory. I am a lawyer. Says he was present at the residence of Virgil Earp on the evening of the 26th of October, last, and that the last named and Sheriff Behan were both there and that he heard a discussion between Virgil and Behan in regard to the difficulty that day.”

Here Williams says this happened “on the evening of the 26th of October.” Less than 20 lines later under cross examination Williams will say the words between Behan and
Virgil “with reference to the affray that had taken place a few moments before.” Which is it Mr. Wiliams? It can’t be both evening and a few moments after the early afternoon fight and why don’t any of the Prosecution lawyers pick up on it to try and undermine Williams credibility or were they not sharp enough to hear it? Or…?

"(Q) Did you hear Behan make use of the following language: “I went to see the Clanton crowd and told them to disarm. They would not do it. I went back and met you, [meaning the Earp crowd] and spoke to you and you did not stop. I heard you say, ’Boys, throw up your hands, I have come to disarm you, when one of the McLaury boys said, ‘We will,’ and drew his gun. The shooting then commenced. “I am your friend. You did perfectly right’,” or language of like import.

(A) As I remember it, I think either the words or the purport of what was asked, was said by Sheriff Behan to Virgil Earp—excepting the last part, “I am your friend. You did perfectly right,” was used in another conversation."

This directly challenges the testimony of Johnny Behan. And the two quotes from ‘another conversation.’ do the same. The Earp side has entered the quotes from the other conversation, leaving the other side to deal with it. Is the Prosecution sides failure to deal with it an admission it is true and they don’t want to talk anymore about it or just a bungling failure to grasp the significance of it?

Cross Examination

Now watch this as the Prosecution reintroduces the exact same information, nearly word for word, and backs it up with more background information about what Williams saw and heard at Virgils to underline this testimony that is completely at odds with their own witness, Behan, and their case. How could competent lawyers be so foolish? A dream team or a nightmare team?

“(Q) Mr. Williams, will you please give the language used by Mr. Behan on that occasion, as near as you can?
(A) Virgil Earp was lying in bed. Sheriff Behan came in and sat on the edge of the bed at the foot. I sat on a sofa at the head of the bed and facing the Sheriff. Sheriff Behan said, speaking to Virgil Earp, with reference to the affray that had taken place a few moments before,”
Now it is a “few moments before the affray” as opposed to “on the evening of the 26th of October.” Here is a chance for the Prosecution to pounce on an inconsistency and perhaps undermine Williams credibility but the nightmare team doesn’t do it and, perhaps because they are unaware of it, misses a chance to damage Williams credibility!! How could that be explained if they were much like good lawyers?

“I went down to the corral to disarm them, and could not (or they would not, I don’t know which expression was used). I then met you and your party and spoke to you. You did not answer. I heard you say, “Boys, throw up your hands! I have come to disarm you’.” One of the McLaury boys said, “We will,” and drew his gun and shooting then commenced. That is as I remembered it.”
(Q) How long were you there while Behan was there, and who else was there at the time this conversation took place?
(A) I do not remember whether I or Mr. Behan left first. I was there from ten to twenty minutes. Then he goes on to describe the three Misses Earp and James Earp and another man who was there whom he did not know and he and Behan were there together about 20 minutes.

So then you might ask when did the Prosecution ask why was Williams there but NO that, apparently, never occurred to them. It might tend to establish a pro-Earp prejudice on Williams part. Why would the night mare legal team not want to do that as it might help their case partly discrediting damaging testimony against one of their main witnesses—Behan? What would good lawyers do and how does it compare to what these Prosecution lawyers did and did not do?

"(Q) Do you occupy any official position in this county?
(A) On Friday last, or Thursday, Mr. Price appointed me Deputy Distric Attorney."

Why, in God’s name, would the Prosecutors want to make this witness more credible by establishing him as a County employee just like Mr. Behan?? Which Prosecutor should get the credit for this clever move to hurt their case and why OH Why do it?

"(Q) What part of the duties of that office have you been engaged in since your appointment, and are engaged in now?
(A) On Friday and Saturday I was before the Grand Jury examining witnesses. Since then I have done nothing.
(Q) Were you not appointed to take charge of all business before the Grand Jury?
(A) I presume so. Mr. Price asked me if I would assist him, and I told him I would do so."

Mr. Williams presumes he was appointed to take charge of all business before the Grand Jury. Wouldn’t opposition lawyers ask him, “Don’t you know what your job is beyond a presumption if you were thus appointed to do it all? This question would be for the purpose of suggesting he cannot think or testify clearly and lay a basis for his testimony being less reliable concerning Sheriff Behan’

Is there a clear explanation for the Prosecution going to bat to underline the story of this witness against one of their main witnesses—Sheriff Behan??

Keep Laughing

    • discrepencies with Epitaph columns K.t.K., Wed Aug 30 21:30
      There is so much summation in the Turner book, it seems we miss the accuracy from the real document. I'll mention a couple of items. The very beginning does not match Hayhurst/Turner.- "W. S.... more
    • The Prosecution apparetly agrees with youTom Gaumer, Wed Aug 30 18:38
      but I think Mr. Williams would have been jumped on hard by good lawyers attempting to protect their case. Willliams, had he been faced with good lawyers which I don't think he was, would have had a... more
    • QuicklyGary Roberts, Wed Aug 30 12:13
      The Hayhurst ms is confusing because witnesses are not presented in the correct chronological order. In preparing a correct chronological sequence the newspapers are essential. Jeff Morey prepared... more
      • Quickly alsoTom Gaumer, Wed Aug 30 19:02
        Howdy Gary Think of the contribution Jeff Morey could have made by making the chronology you mentioned public with assorted information we would have all longed to see, especially from him! Think of... more
        • You might want to check . . . Gary Roberts, Thu Aug 31 14:27
          the archive on Texas Jack's board. In February 2010, Butch Badon and I had a lengthy discussion there of the Hayhurst and comparisons to the various versions of the Spicer from Turner, the EPITAPH,... more
          • Will do. When do you think one Tom Gaumer, Fri Sep 1 02:10
            Gary of the people who have the available copies of the Nuggets and Epitaphs will allow them to be copied and placed in BJ's history archives or printed up and distributed to anyone who wants them?... more
            • discrepanciespaul j, Fri Sep 1 09:05
              Tom and all - If you go about typing up what exists of the Hayhurst ms (it is already a typescript, isn't it?)- then type up all the Epitaph reporting of the testimony, and follow with the Nugget... more
              • Howdy PaulTom Gaumer, Fri Sep 1 19:04
                I think the Hayhurst exists, perhaps at ASU in Tempe. There is another book length manuscript by Hayhurst there only indirectly related. I think anything can be done online if you know the magic. I... more
              • If I may stick my nose in here...Ben Harleman, Fri Sep 1 12:54
                I don't know about an online program, but MS Office can handle it. I've already taken most all of the documents from here and transcribed them into a digital book format for me to use on my tablet... more
                • Please stick your nose in. All help appreciatedTom Gaumer, Fri Sep 1 19:11
                  Howdy Ben It sounds to me like your four columns with the summary notes would be great for any of us with an interest in this. What part of the country do you live in? Are you planning to attend TTR... more
                  • Howdy TomBen Harleman, Fri Sep 1 20:45
                    Hi Tom, unfortunately I just moved back to Seattle from Phoenix (Goodyear, to be specific) the first of August. However, I was talking to my wife about going back down in possibly October or November ... more
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