Ben Thompson True West Magazine
Ben Thompson.

Gunfighter Ben Thompson got his start at a relatively young age. He was 14 when—at
least according to some accounts—was bullied by another youngster, James Smith—in
Austin, TX. Thompson got a shotgun and emptied a load of birdshot into his opponent’s

His attorney argued that the it was a clear case of self-defense, but a jury didn’t buy it.
Ben was convicted of aggravated assault and served 60 days in the county jail. Texas
Governor Hardin Runnels later pardoned Thompson.

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