Award ends lawsuit on ‘Billy the Kid’ records

Billy the Kid
Billy the Kid

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) – A New Mexico court has awarded an author $100,000 in punitive damages in a lawsuit she brought over records on legendary outlaw Billy the Kid.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that District Judge George Eichwald last week awarded author and amateur historian Gale Cooper the punitive damages in a lawsuit she brought against the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Cooper had sought records relating to the outlaw’s 1881 death.

The award brings to an end a legal battle of more than seven years that has left Lincoln County taxpayers on the hook for nearly $300,000 in fees and damages.

In 2007, Cooper and a weekly newspaper sued for access to documents related to the investigation, launched by a Lincoln County sheriff and two deputies more than a decade ago. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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