Doc and Jim Manning killed lawman/gunfighter Dallas Stoudenmire at an El Paso saloon in 1882. The pair were charged with murder, and it looked to be open and shut; Jim had shot Stoudenmire in the back of the head.
But the fix was in. Authorities didn’t confiscate the murder weapon as evidence. Witnesses—friends of the Mannings—couldn’t identify Jim as the shooter. The jury was made up of Manning pals. The prosecution was half-hearted. The outcome was so certain that Doc didn’t show for his own trial. Both were acquitted.