The Official Scandal
Following his confrontation with Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, Ringo began to take the situation between the Clantons and the Earps more personally. On January 20, 1882, he was arrested when his bond was revoked for the Galeyville robbery. While in jail he was informed that Wyatt Earp and a posse were planning to ride to Charleston to arrest the Clantons. He asked his attorney to quickly set bail for him. Briggs Goodrich, his attorney appeared at the jail and told Sheriff John Behan that he had arranged for Ringo's bond. Behan released Ringo prior to his bond being accepted by the court. Ringo immediately left Tombstone and headed to Charleston to warn his friends of Earp's intentions to arrest them.
James Earp saw Ringo leave town and knew that he was planning to warn the Clantons of his brothers plan. James quickly wrote out an affadavit claiming that Ringo was an escaped prisoner and that he intended to interfere with Wyatt Earp's posse:
"James Earp being duly sworn says that upon the 23rd day of January, A. D., 1882. He saw John Ringo at the city of Tombstone said County, leaving said city, That upon the information and belief that said Ringo who is under indictment in said county for the crime of robbery is an escaped prisoner from the jurisdiction of the court of the First Judicial District said county wherefore whom an application for bail of said prisoner John Ringo was pending on said day, and said escape was made from the custody of the sheriff of said county without approval . . . by lawful authority. Setting to bail of said Ringo and definitely accuses that the purpose and intent of said Ringo is to intercept one Wyatt S. Earp a marshal intrusted with the execution of warrants for diverse persons charged with violations of the laws of this Territory and duly sworn for the arrest of said persons, and . . . believes that the purpose of said Ringo is to obstruct the execution of said warrants."
This affadavit and following newspaper reports created a considerable amount of commotion in Tombstone. This caused a second posse led by J.H. Jackson to leave the town in pursuit of Ringo.
Ringo at Charleston
Ringo made it to Charleston before Earp's party. Some accounts claim that as Wyatt was riding up to the Charleston bridge he encountered Ringo holding a Winchester. Wyatt and his posse turned and rode away. Later J. H. Jackson's party made it to Charleston. As they made their was to the Occidental hotel to have breakfast they were intercepted by Ike Clanton and several others. Clanton detained the Jackson party, which claimed that they had a warrant for John Ringo. Clanton stated that "Johnny had always acted the gentleman towards him and he would see what could be done."
Ringo was told of the warrant for his arrest and that Sheriff John Behan might be in trouble if Ringo did not appear in court. Ringo rode to Tombstone. On January 28, 1882, he was arraigned for the second time on his Galeyville indictment. On January 31, he pled not guilty and was released on a $3000 bond. A hearing was scheduled for February 2, 1882. Deputy Breakenridge went to Galeyville with bench warrants for the witnesses against Ringo and brought the men to Tombstone. However, it appears that the following day the men again did not appear in court to testify against John Ringo.
The Tombstone Nugget reported that Ringo was in town, staying at the Grand Hotel, on February 7th and 19th. Tombstone diarest George Parsons knew that more trouble was going to happen in Tombstone. On February 15, 1882, he wrote in his diary:
"A bad time expected again in town at any time. Earps on one side of the street with their friends and Ike Clanton and Ringo with theirs on the other side-watching each other. Blodd will surely come. Hope no innocents wil be killed."
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