Billy Clanton, together with Frank and Tom McLaury, died at the OK Corral gunfight. Their bodies were laid to rest at Tombstone’s “Boot Hill.” Tony the Marine took this picture of the grave sites on February 15, 2014. Attribution for the photo:  Marine 69-71 at en.wikipedia. License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Click on the image for a better view.


Did the Earps and Doc Holliday commit a crime or were they merely trying to disarm the Cowboys? When the coroner held an inquest into the shootings, his jury of ten men heard from several witnesses.

Sheriff Behan testified on October 29, 1881. The Epitaph, one of Tombstone's newspapers, printed his testimony. The next day more witnesses testified, including Ike Clanton, whose story was covered by the Daily Nugget.

At the conclusion of the inquest, the jury found:

...After viewing the body and hearing such testimony as had been submitted to us, find that the person was Frank McLaury...and that he came to his death in the town of Tombstone in said county, and on the 26th day of October, 1881, from the effects of pistol and gunshot wounds inflicted by Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp and one Holliday, commonly called Doc Holliday.

...The verdict in the case of William Clanton and Thomas McLaury was the same as above...

The bodies of the McLaurys and Billy Clanton were dressed better than the men had ever been dressed while they were alive. Their open coffins were displayed in the window of the funeral parlor. They were buried on Boot Hill after a funeral attended by practically the whole town.

Sheriff Behan respected Wyatt's desire not to be arrested the day of the shooting. After all, he had to take care of his wounded brothers. But it wasn't long before Wyatt was arrested - charged with the murders of the McLaurys and Billy Clanton.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Jun 06, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"A CORONER'S INQUEST" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 2001. May 26, 2020.
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