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

Some Gang Members Elude Capture

While the trial was underway, the two other members of the gang, Lot Huntington and William Alma (Al) Williams, who had also been indicted and bench warrants issued for their arrest, were reported as having been seen at the lower crossing of the Mojave River. It was said that the two escaped men swore "vengeance because of their failure, and threatened while at the Mojave to come in three months and get even," a threat which they would make good.

This had to have been an embarrassment for the respectable Mormon community. Al Williams was the brother of Thomas Williams, the merchant killed by Indians and buried at Bitter Springs the year prior. It is somewhat ironic that Al Williams had been living with Justice Morse during the previous year, which is shown by the 1860 census, and for that matter may yet have been living with him when the Palomares theft occurred.

Lot Huntington's father, Dimick, was the brother of William Dresser Huntington, a prominent Mormon in San Bernardino. William Huntington’s son Heber, Lot's cousin, was later the owner of a way station in the 1870s, in what is now Victorville.

Sheriff Anson Van Leuven assembled a posse of seventeen men to pursue the two fugitives in the desert. The posse was within a few miles of where the culprits were thought to be when trouble broke out. The men started to argue among themselves and a shoot-out began between the members of the posse. Guns blazed and bullets flew, and when it was over, four men were wounded, two "desperately" so. The group was forced to abandon the chase, and returned empty-handed to San Bernardino.

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