Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

William C. Chormicle and the
Castaic Range War.

Los Angeles Times.
June 17, 1890.


Yesterday was a hard day on the jury in the Chormicle and Gardner murder case. They listened all day to two arguments-one by Mr. Gorgan, who opened for the prosecution, the other by Mr. Murphy, who opened for the defense. Mr. Morgan talked all morning and Mr. Murphy all the afternoon, and today will be likewise consumed by the remaining counsel who are to speak in the case. The lawyers had a good audience, as the courtroom was crowded with spectators all day. Mr. Gordon claimed that the killing was murder in the first degree, and that both defendants are equally guilty. he thought the evidence conclusively proves that both Chormicle and Gardner shot down Dolores Cook and George Walton from ambush, behind the windows of the cabin on section 23, in the Castac Canon. Mr. Murphy was very minute in his treatment of the evidence in the case, and went over it all with exhaustive care. He was occasionally dramatic, as where, at the outset, he asserted that the defense has no favors to ask, and wishes only justice; that by right the two defendants should not be where they are, but W.W. Jenkins, Jose Olme and Thomas Riley are the real defendants who should be on trial. He argued that the testimony discloses a conspiracy on the part of Jenkins and his crowd to have the Chormicle land or kill them to secure it, and that it was the intention that Chormicle and Gardner should be the ones shot that fatal morning in February, instead of Cook and Walton. The trial will be resumed this morning, when the other arguments will begin. It is expected that the case will get to the jury late this afternoon.

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