Pardon for Billy the Kid? Cop's Family Irate
Descendants of sheriff who killed legend want to talk to NM gov
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2010 8:03 AM CDT
This undated ferrotype picture provided by the Lincoln County, N.M., Heritage Trust Archive is believed to depict William Bonney, also known as Billy the Kid, circa 1880.    (AP Photo/Lincoln County Heritage Trust Archive)

(Newser) – Sheriff Pat Garrett's descendants are seeing red over the suggestion that the outlaw Garrett shot down 129 years ago may be receiving a pardon. Three of the lawman's kinfolk have sent an angry letter to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is believed to be considering pardoning the outlaw before leaving office to honor a deal made by a previous governor in 1879, ABC reports.

"If Billy the Kid was living amongst us now, would you issue a pardon for someone who made his living as a thief and, more egregiously, who killed four law enforcement officers and numerous others?" the family wrote. Richardson is believed to be planning a meeting with the Garretts this week to discuss the issue. "Both can be heroes," says the author of a dual biography of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. There's "plenty of recognition and honor to go around, Pat as an upstanding lawman, Billy as our wild spirit who fought the law and lost."