Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Outlaws on the Mojave

Local Men Captured with Stolen Horses

Several days later, four of the six men were captured while in possession of 23 horses, most of them belonging to Palomares, with the remainder having a sprinkling of different brands. The thieves were all well known, being San Bernardino "Mormons," a term which during these years had become a catch-all that referred to anyone who had ever been connected with the Mormon community, including ex-Mormons, Jack-Mormons, Reorganized Mormons, and people who associated with Mormons. This was the first of several episodes involving Mormon horse thieves to occur over the next few months.

The four men who had been arrested were Roy McBride, Isaac Hawley, Robert Graham and James H. Ferry. Upon reviewing the evidence, the grand jury indicted all four for grand larceny (more than $50), and trial was set for July 6, 1861, with Justice of the Peace Moses Morse presiding.

McBride was tried first, and as his defense he claimed that he had come by the horses honestly and did not know they were stolen. Aaron Lane was called as a witness, probably because he had seen the men and horses, as well as the pursuers, pass by his station.

Since his testimony was not recorded, nor that of the other witnesses, the details of the case are vague. The description of the stolen stock provided by Palomares was given in great detail, listing all brands, marks, colors and distinguishing features. When the jury found McBride guilty, the other three defendants changed their pleas to guilty, and all were sentenced by Judge Morse to two years in state prison.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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