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Ed Cantrell Trial: 1979 - Fireworks In The Courtroom

jordan gun spence deputy

In his testimony, Cantrell said his revolver was in his belt, and his hand was resting on it. "That's the way I always sit," he said.

Cantrell's hand was already on his gun, then, when Rosa reached for his. And Cantrell was a quick draw expert. To show what that meant, Spence called a former lawman who knew Cantrell from years of competing against him at shooting events, retired Border Patrol officer Bill Jordan.

Spence brought in two revolvers and loaded them with blanks. He gave one to Jordan, who put it in a holster. He gave the other to a deputy sheriff, loaded and cocked. He instructed the deputy to point the gun at Jordan and fire as soon as the older man started for his gun. After a few moments, Jordan drew and fired. The deputy's mouth dropped open as he stood there holding the unfired gun.

Spence asked Jordan how fast Cantrell was.

"Ed's a mite faster than me," the old lawman said.

The jury found Cantrell not guilty.

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