The Regulators’ Worst Enemy

The Regulators' Worst Enemy

William Rynerson (in photo) is best known as a prosecuting attorney and enemy of the Regulators in the Lincoln County War.  But he gained special headlines in 1867.

As a member of the New Mexico Territorial Legislature, Rynerson led an effort to remove Chief Justice John Slough of the territorial Supreme Court. In Santa Fe on December 16, Slough insulted Rynerson, who pulled a gun and told the judge to take it back.  “Shoot and be damned” was the reply.  Rynerson pulled the trigger; Slough died the next day.  Rynerson was acquitted by reason of self-defense.

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