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Steve Gatto
Tombstone Nugget Testimony of W. S. Williams
Fri Sep 1, 2017 08:36

I transcribed the Nugget testimony in the 1990s.

"W. S. Williams; I reside in Tombstone, Cochise county, Arizona; my occupation is a lawyer.

Q. Were you present at the residence of Virgil Earp on the Evening of the 26th of October last?

A. yes, sir.

Q. Were Virgil Earp and Sheriff Behan present at that place?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you hear any discussion between Sheriff Behan and Earp in regard to the difficulty of the day?

A. Yes, sir; I did.

Q. Did you hear during that discussion Sheriff 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 McLowry boys said, `We will', and Drew his gun. The shooting then commenced. I am your friend, and you did perfectly right," or language to that import?

A. As I can 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.


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 down on the edge of the bed at the foot; I sat at the sofa at the head of the bed and facing the sheriff. Sheriff Behan said, speaking to Virgil Earp with reference to the affray which had taken place a few moments before, I went down to the corral to disarm them, and I could not," or "they would not," 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 McLowry boys said, `We will,' and the shooting commenced." That is as I remember it.

Q. How long were you there while Behan was there and who else were 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. There were three ladies in the room the most of the time I and Mr. Behan were there. I think they were the three Mrs. Earp, and a portion of the time while I and Mr. Behan were there James Earp was in and out of the room. There was also a gentleman in the room who I never saw before and don't know who he was; he was in and out. These are all I now remember. I and Mr. Behan were together about twenty minutes. I don't know that I have ever seen the stranger that was there since; he was a red faced man, about five feet eight and a half inches high, dressed in overalls an ordinary suit of clothes. He had a reddish brown mustache and chin whiskers, with light brown hair cropped rather short, and speaks very quick; he was about thirty-five years of age.

Q. Do you occupy any official position in this county?

A. On Friday last or Thursday Mr. Price appointed me deputy district attorney for Cochise county.

Q. What part of the duties of that office have you been engaged in since your appointment and are engage 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."

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