• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

June 28, 1892 Execution

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On June 28, 1892 John Thornton was executed for the murder of his daughter. In 1891, Thornton was living in the Choctaw Nation and had long been suspected of abusing his daughter, Laura. On November 11, enraged that Laura had recently married (only six days earlier), Thornton shot and killed her. At his trial, the 65 year old Thornton pled not guilty by reason of insanity, saying he was drunk at the time of the murder and did not know what he was doing. This did not sway the jury. Thornton was convicted and sentenced to death for his crime.

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