Sheriff who shot Billy the Kid focus of New Mexico festival

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Pat Garrett, an Old West sheriff who is remembered for killing outlaw Billy the Kid, will be the focus of new festival in southern New Mexico.

The first Pat Garrett Western Heritage Festival is scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and comes amid renewed interest in the well-known lawman, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported .

Organizers have said they plan to unveil a new photograph of Garrett, the newspaper said.

In addition to movies, performances and lectures, organizers have said several of Garrett’s descendants will attend events.

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The festival comes as Las Cruces city officials consider changing the name of Motel Boulevard to Pat Garrett Boulevard. In December 2017, the Dona Ana County Board of County Commissioners voted 5-0 to back the petition. But Motel Boulevard is in the jurisdiction of the city of Las Cruces, so renaming it will require a city government approval.

Garrett was an Old West lawman and customs agent who became sheriff of Lincoln County as well as Dona Ana County in what was then the territory of New Mexico. He was elected sheriff of Lincoln County in 1880 a wave of bank robberies and a violent New Mexico land war involving immigrants of Irish and English descent.

Billy the Kid was swept up in what was known as the “Lincoln County War” after his British mentor was gunned down by the corrupt Sheriff William Brady. Billy the Kid organized the assassination of Brady in revenge, which escalated into a war between immigrant factions.

Garrett shot and killed the 21-year-old Billy the Kid in 1881 after the outlaw escaped from the Lincoln County jail in New Mexico.

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Garrett, who briefly lived in Texas, was later killed amid a dispute over a New Mexico ranch.


Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News,