It all started when Byron McGeoch stole some cattle. Deputy Tom Fowler went to arrest him. "Byron I have to arrest you for cattle stealing."
"I haven't stolen any cattle. You can check my herd if you want and that will prove it."
"Byron! I did check your herd and saw a number of cattle with brands that weren't yours, and I'm taking you to jail."
Byron resisted arrest and a number of shots were fired by both men.
"McGeoch, I don't care if I have to haul you in dead. I mean it, Byron. Throw down your gun or you're a dead man."
Byron acquiesced and went to jail. He was acquitted of cattle stealing but was bound over to the county court in the amount of $1,000 on the charge of resisting arrest.
McGeoch spread the word that Ed Caviness was to blame for his arrest. Caviness took the threats seriously that Byron was making. He feared that with McGeoch on trial, he might actually seek revenge and kill him.
McGeoch swore out a warrant against Ed, binding him to keep the peace. Caviness was placed under a $500 bond and a warrant was served on him to appear in court.
Byron had been crippled by a fall from a hose and dragged his right leg when he walked. It was a Wednesday evening when he hobbled into the James Caviness Saloon and ordered a drink.
James, Ed's brother, said, "I don't think this is a good place for you to be, Byron."
"This is a public place and nothing's going to happen to me in here."
Ed walked into the saloon and because of the light reflecting through the door, he failed to see Byron leaning back in his chair. Caviness had come to the bar solely to talk with his brother.
"Jim, would you loan me that gelding of yours? I think he just might win the big race tomorrow afternoon."
"Of course." Jim raised his arm and pointed toward the door. "Did you see who's sitting over there?"
Hair raised on the back of Ed's neck. "No, I sure didn't see him."
"I suggest Ed that you leave here quietly and not let a disturbance occur."
Ed turned away from the bar and began walking toward the door. As he approached McGeoch, he pulled his revolver and shot him five times. McGeoch slipped from his chair as Ed ran out the door.
Ed was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary. He had served only a few years when he escaped and was never heard from again.