Friday, February 09, 2007

albuquerque - february 9, 1883

Milt Yarberry, Albuquerque's first marshal, was hanged after being found guilty of shooting an unarmed man to death. It wasn’t the first time Milt had killed an unarmed man, but it was the first time he was hanged for it.

Legend has it that tickets were sold to the hanging that took place around 3 p.m. on February 9, 1883. Approximately 100 men were allowed into the yard, while an estimated 1,000 more gathered outside the fence on rooftops and in trees to witness the first legal execution in Bernalillo County.

Following a lengthy speech, witnesses stated that Yarberry uttered his last words as Archie Hilton pulled a black cap down over his face… “Well, you are going to hang an innocent man.” Doctors present stated that it took 9 minutes for Milt’s heart to stop beating after he was hanged.

Yarberry was buried in the Santa Barbara Cemetery in Martineztown. Although it was reported that Milt was buried still wearing the noose as his necktie, I can’t help but suspect that that particular detail was in fact, fiction.

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