Prone to Violence Gunfighter Ben Thompson got his start at a young age.

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.

Ben Thompson Lawman

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Mark Boardman

Mark Boardman is the features editor for True West Magazine as well as the editor of The Tombstone Epitaph. He also serves as pastor for Poplar Grove United Methodist Church in Indiana.