Sunday, June 1, 2014

Treasure in the Archives

The summer season is once again upon us and the Apache County Historical Society Museum is open for the Summer (until September).  One recent Saturday as I was volunteering at the Museum and continuing my inventory of the archives I came across an old Apache County Justice Docket/Ledger from the late 1800s.

Of course I was intrigued and began browsing through the yellowed pages. 

When all of the sudden a familiar name leapt off the page!  Barry Matthews.  I was so excited!  Here were the actual court entries for the killing of Barry Matthews by Walter Darling!  It was fate that I picked up that particular ledger just before the end of my shift!  (See my previous post for the full story of Matthews and Darling.)

The first entry was from 3 May 1889 stating that Barry Matthews had been killed at the Saloon of "Ashton and Magee".  The Justice of the Peace (who later would be District Attorney) and acting Coroner, Alfred Ruiz was summoned to the scene of the murder, where he held an inquest.  He choose 9 jurors: 
  • N. Greer
  • W.E. Platt
  • A.J. Doxey
  • A. Baggs
  • W.S. Hill
  • J.F. Wallace
  • James Richey
  • J.T. Hogue
After which three witnesses to the crime were sworn and examined - they being:
  • W. H. Magee
  • Henry (?)Beucamp
  • A. B. Lambson

After hearing their testimony the jurors returned a "Certificate of Inquisition", charging Walter Darling with the crime, and a warrant was issued and given to the Sheriff. 

That same day, Walter Darling was brought before Alfred Ruiz on the warrant of Murder.  An examination by the Sheriff of Apache County was set for the following day.

On May 4th, Walter Darling was back in court for this "examination", he was represented by Attorney F. L. B. Goodwin, and the prosecutor was A. F. Banta for the Territory of Arizona.  The same witnesses as at the inquisition, with the addition of one R. E. Momson were called and examined.  Darling was given the opportunity to make a statement, which he refused.   Ruiz determined that enough evidence was shown to hold Walter Darling on the charge of the murder of Barry Matthews, and bail was set at $2,500.

(More to come if I find the entry for the actual Murder trial & acquittal of Darling.)