Chief Deputy Sheriff THOMAS W JONES Lincoln County Sheriff's Department End of Watch: Sunday July 16, 1933 Cause of Death: Gunfire
Lincoln County Sheriff A. S. McCamant got word on Friday, July 14, 1933, that two wanted Texas bank robbers and killers, Ed "Pearchmouth" Stanton, 45, and Glenn Hunsucker, 21, were hiding out on a dry-land homestead near Corona in the northern part of the county. The sheriff, along with deputies Tom Jones, Jack Davidson and Hubert Reynolds, set out at once in search of the outlaws. On Saturday they visited the farm in question and found that the suspects were not present. They returned the following day and found tire tracks, a sign that the outlaws had visited the place during the night.
The posse, augmented by Sgt. Barney Leonard and Sam McCue of Chaves County followed a trail left Stanton and Hunsucker. They kept up the pursuit for most of Sunday across rugged country. After Leonard and McCue left the group, the posse came upon their quarry late Sunday afternoon east of Corona on the Nalda Ranch. The two outlaws concealed themselves in a wooded area that surrounded a broad dell. They opened fire on the officers without warning, killing Tom Jones almost instantly with a bullet to the head. Hunsucker advanced on the remaining lawmen, firing as he went, only to be shot down. He died about an hour later of eight bullet wounds. Stanton got away on foot.
Word of Deputy Jones' killing spread rapidly around Lincoln County and southeastern New Mexico and by Monday morning the sheriff had help from Capitan and Hondo, as well as from neighboring jurisdictions. His posse grew to more than twenty men. They resumed the search for Stanton. At about 3:00 Monday afternoon, the killer was spotted, still in the Ramon area. When Stanton realized he was cornered, he surrendered. Officers took him to jail in Carrizozo.
Officers from Tulia and Silverton in the Texas Panhandle arrived in Lincoln County on Tuesday morning. They positively identified Glenn Hunsucker and Pearchmouth Stanton as the two bandits who robbed a gasoline filling station at Tulia, Texas, and killed Swisher County Sheriff John C. Mosely on January 23, 1933. Hunsucker was also believed to have participated in a bank robbery at Olton, Texas and to have taken part in a gun battle with law officers at Bluitt, 50 miles south of Portales in 1932. Hale County, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Harve Bolin was shot and killed in that fight and Roosevelt County Deputy Sheriff R. L. Hollis was badly wounded.
Because officers feared that Stanton's friends would attempt to rescue him, the Lincoln County Jail was carefully guarded until Wednesday when Stanton appeared before a local magistrate and waived extradition back to Texas. Deputy Hubert Reynolds accompanied the four Texas officers in taking Stanton first to Roswell, where two other officers joined them for the trip to Clovis and then to Amarillo. No one attempted to interfere with the officers.
On September 28, 1934, Ed "Pearchmouth" Stanton was executed by electrocution at the Texas State Prison at Huntsville. All New Mexico charges against him were dropped on March 7, 1935.
As a sidelight to this story, after the killing of Deputy Jones, local citizens determined that the sheriff needed more firepower so they purchased a Colt model 1921 Thompson submachine gun for the department. The department still owns it (see photo below).
Deputy Jones' widow, Ola, served as superintendent of the Lincoln County Schools.
Alamogordo News, July 20, 1933
Albuquerque Journal, July 17 & 18, 1933
Artesia Advocate, July 20, 1933
Jack Davidson (Sheriff McCamant's nephew), September 24, 1990
Lincoln County News, July 21, 1933
Charlie Brown, Texas Department of Corrections, conversation, 1990
James McSwane, Sheriff, Lincoln County
Vernon Petty, Carrizozo, New Mexico, correspondence, June 1 & 28, 1990
Michael Shyne, Alamogordo, New Mexico, correspondence, May 14 1990
Courtesy of Don Bullis (email@example.com); excerpted from
"New Mexico's Finest: Peace Officers Killed in the Line of Duty, 1847-2010"
with permission from Rio Grande Books, www.nmsantos.com