The Biggest Blockbuster Court Trials in Wyoming History
Here's a look back at the biggest blockbuster court cases ever conducted in the Cowboy State.
1. The Trial of Tom Horn (1902) - The prosecution of the notorious bounty hunter, who was accused of killing a 14-year-old boy, made national news. To this day, there are many who believe Horn was innocent.
2. The State of Wyoming vs. Richard and Deborah Janke (1983) - This case, involving two children who plotted to kill their abusive father, was profiled on the popular CBS series 60 Minutes and later became the subject of a made-for-televsion movie and a best selling book.
3. Miss Wyoming vs. Penthouse Magazine (1981) - Former Miss Wyoming Jayne Pring was awarded $26 million in damages when a federal jury ruled that she had been libeled by Penthouse Magazine, who had published a feature detailing the sexual exploits of a character identified as "Miss Wyoming". The judgment was later overturned on appeal.
4. Coastal Corp. vs. Occidental Petrolium (1976) - A Cheyenne jury awarded $549 million to the plaintiff in this contract dispute between two rival oil companies. At the time, it was the third largest judgment in American history.
5. The State of Wyoming vs. Frank Canton (1892) - The Johnson County War culminated when this former county sheriff and U.S. Deputy Marshall was charged with the murder of local rancher Nate Champion. Canton was rescued from an angry mob by the U.S. Calvary, transported to Cheyenne and ordered to stand trial. The charges were quickly dropped and Canton was released.