Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

William C. Chormicle and the
Castaic Range War.

Los Angeles Times.
Wednesday, March 26, 1890.


The examination of Chormicle and Gardner, the Castac Canon murderers, was continued before Justice Austin yesterday. The most important testimony brought out was that of Rev. George W. A. Brockwell, a Pasadena minister, who happened to meet Chormicle on his way to the canon sometime before the shooting, and accompanied him, and thereby was a witness to the quarrel between Chormicle, Walton and Jenkins over the land, which dispute finally led to the shooting. Mr. Brockwell took down most of the salient points of the conversation which took place at that time, and was questioned at considerable length. The only thing sensational, however, was when, in answer to a question as to whether he thought the conversation alluded to was the cause of bloodshed, Mr. Brockwell replied that he certainly did; that the perpetrator of the murder was in the room-that is, Jenkins, the aider and abettor of the murder, was present. This declaration of the witness caused a decided sensation, but he was promptly checked by Justice Austin, who told him to confine himself to answering such questions as were asked of him, and not indulge in any more such declarations, when the examination proceeded to the close without further incident.

The theory of the defense is that Chormicle and Gardner were justified in the killing, from the fact that Walton and Cook were the aggressors in the first instance, and that they were killed by Chormicle in defense of his own property.

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