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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:346
  • eBook ISBN:9781626754805

The Gallup 14

A True Crime Novel

by Gary L Stuart

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The Gallup 14 A TRUE CRIME NOVEL GARY L. STUART When three people were left for dead including the local sheriff, and seven more were wounded during a 1935 riot in Gallup New Mexico, justice had to be served. But striking coal miners and Mexican immigrants were the primary targets of the justice system in a political cover-up. Add in depression-era fear of Communism and high-powered political coercion and you get justice denied. The conviction at trial of the Gallup 14 and their short trip to a hanging noose in a New Mexico prison seemed inevitable. Gary Stuart’s true crime novel, written 65 years after the events, is based on actual court documents, testimony, first-hand accounts, and radio and print coverage. It vividly brings to life the drama, terror, and compassion that rippled throughout the story. The reader sees what happened through the eyes of Mary Ann Shaughnessy and her lawyer boyfriend, Billy Wade. The mass arrests, line-ups, and the highly questionable tactics of the politically pressured authorities form the backdrop to this powerful story of racism, exploitation, and labor politics, and the politically influenced legal system that was charged with meting out justice. While this story happened decades ago, it serves as an uncomfortable reminder of how little race and immigration policies have changed in America. Gary L. Stuart is a lawyer in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona, and a native of Gallup, New Mexico. His family lived through the novel that he wrote.
The Gallup 14 A TRUE CRIME NOVEL GARY L. STUART The Gallup 14 is the true crime novel about a riot and a murder trial that took place on April 4, 1935 in Gallup New Mexico. A prisoner, Esiquel Navarro, had been shackled and was being led down a narrow alley by McKinley County Sherriff Mack Carmichael and two of his deputies. They had attended a bail hearing for Navarro and were pushing their way back to the jail through a hostile crowd of out-of-work coal miners. One of the deputies, Hoy Boggess, panicked and started a riot. He lost his gun in the crowd as they rushed to release Navarro. Hoy’s famous 1917 Smith & Wesson long-barreled revolver was never “officially” recovered. But a bullet from that gun killed Sheriff Carmichael and wounded his deputy, Bobcat Wilson. Other guns were used to kill two Mexican coal miners. Bobcat was rushed by car to the Rehoboth Mission Hospital east of Gallup. A dozen coal miners were also wounded in the shoot-out. Navarro escaped and hasn’t been seen since. In today’s vernacular, he probably self-deported. Governor Tingley declared martial law. By noon the next day, the roundup was on. One hundred and eighty men, women, and children were rousted from their homes in Chihuahuaita, and shipped by cattle car to the state penitentiary in Santa Fe. Most of them did not speak English. Almost all were Communists. Very few had any connection to the riot in the alley. Fourteen men were charged with capital murder, based entirely on the fact that someone thought they were probably present in that alley that morning. While most the other Gallup suspects eventually released back to their homes, scores were deported back to Mexico. The case became a cause célèbre in the national press. Political rallies were held all over the country, Wall Street lawyers were recruited to lead the defense, and tens of thousands of post cards were sent to the Governor demanding release of the “political” prisoners, dubbed by the national press as “The Gallup 14.” This true crime novel relies on the actual trial testimony, first-hand accounts, and a comprehensive file maintained at the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup New Mexico. The published reports accurately portray the verdict, the appeals to the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the ultimate political resolution in the Governor’s office. Mary Ann Shaughnessy and Billy Wade, two fictional characters, tell the story in the actual context of 1930s depression era New Mexico. The University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library collected the complete record, which documents what happened, but not how, or why. This story is rife with the tension and hysteria of the so-called “red menace” (communism) and the racial overtones of a respected white sheriff killed by “Mexicans” in a narrow alley behind the Stuart house in Gallup New Mexico.
About the author
I earned degrees in business and law at the University of Arizona, graduated in the top ten-percent of my class, edited the Arizona Law Review and practiced law for 32 years with one of Arizona’s largest law firms (Jennings, Strouss, & Salmon & Trask). I was a full time trial lawyer until 2000 when I published my first novel. Since then, I have blended a part-time law practice with teaching law and writing at Arizona State University. I was inducted into the Arizona Lawyer Hall of Fame in 2010. While I’m still practicing law part time, I don’t try big cases these days. Instead, I write about them. Over the years, I’ve published a dozen law review articles, and hundreds of op-ed pieces, essays, magazine articles, short stories, CLE booklets, and six books, including: “The Ethical Trial Lawyer,” State Bar of Arizona, 1994; “Litigation Ethics,” Lexis-Nexis Publishing, 1998; “The Gallup 14,” a novel, University of New Mexico Press, 2000; “Miranda—The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent,” University of Arizona Press, 2004; and “AIM For The Mayor,” a novel, Xlibris Press, 2008; “Innocent Until Interrogated—The Story of The Buddhist Temple Massacre and the Tucson Four,” University of Arizona Press, 2010. Three of my books were published by prestigious academic presses and were peer-reviewed by tenured faculty (The Gallup 14—University of New Mexico Press) (Miranda—The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent—University of Arizona Press), and (Innocent Until Interrogated—The Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre). All three have sold well in print, earned critical acclaim, and won important book prizes. Two of my books are legal textbooks (The Ethical Trial Lawyer—State Bar of Arizona Publishing Co), and (Ethical Litigation—LexisNexis.com Publishing Company). In May 2013, my first Western novel will be published in e-Book formatting. It is the first in a four-book series about an iconic 1880s cowboy who rides the high country on the New Mexico- Colorado border looking for outlaws, in-laws, and trouble every time he talks his horse into crossing a new river. The first of those Western novels is “Angus—Riding the Rio Chama.”