Wyatt Earp History Page

Wyatt Earp

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Wyatt Earp History Page

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 Earp - Reilly Brouhaha (August 1880)

    While in court for the case of the State vs George Perrine, an argument erupted between Justice James Reilly and attorney Harry Jones.  Reilly ordered the officers in the room to remove Jones.  Startled by the events, the officers that were present hesitated for a moment.  Justice Reilly then tried to forcibly remove Jones from the court room.  Jones retaliated by punching Reilly in the face.  At that point Wyatt Earp intervened and arrested both parties.  

    Earp took Jones before Justice Gray on the charge of assault, but was released on his own recognizance and returned to Reilly courtroom to continue the dispute.  Reilly fined Jones $25 for contempt and order him to spend twenty four hours in the county jail.  While waitng for the stage, Earp released Jones on his own reconizance and Earp then went back to Reilly's courtroom.  Reilly then asked Earp why he should not be fined for comtempt by the court for failing to obey the justice's order to removed Jones from the courtroom in the first place.  Earp told Reilly to consider himself under arrest when he returned from Tucson.

    Earp took Jones to Tucson.  Judge J. S. Woods later released Jones following a writ of Habeas Corpus.  The Tucson newspapers reported the event and momentarily commented that Wyatt Earp had also been arrested in the affair. However, this error was quickly corrected. The Arizona Daily Star on August 19, 1880, stated that an error had been made in the transcription of the original telegram and apologized to Wyatt Earp for the misunderstanding.

The Tucson Daily Citizen, on August 18, 1880, wrote: "These cases have caused unlimited amusement among the legal fraternity of both this city and Tombstone, where the defendants reside."


Your host is Steve Gatto, author of The Real Wyatt Earp (Edited by Neil Carmony) (2000),Johnny Ringo (2002), Curly Bill, Tombstone's Most Famous Outlaw (2003).  Steve's latest work, Hurled Into Eternity, The Story of Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral has not yet been released.

Portions of the text appearing on this site come from the above books.
"bravery and determination were requisites, and in every instance proved himself the right man in the right place."  Tombstone Epitaph