A long simmering Tularosa basin range war between big cattle companies and small operators boiled over when the famous attorney for the Southeastern New Mexico Livestock Association, Albert Fountain, and his eight-year-old son Henry, disappeared 1 February 1896 and were never found again. Republicans immediately assumed Oliver Lee, small rancher, fast gun, and a leading Democrat, murdered the Fountains. Three years later Lee and friend James Gililland were brought to trial in the little mining town of Hillsboro for the murder of Henry Fountain. Quickly morphing into a political donnybrook, with leading Republicans for the prosecution and leading Democrats for the defense, the trial swore seventy-five witnesses, lasted eighteen days, and went to the jury at midnight. After deliberating eight minutes, the jury voted not guilty.