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The story of Fast Eddie lives on in Shamrock, Texas. The facts unfolded on March 12, 1978, at Chester Glancy’s party. He’d just bought a new house off Route 66, behind what used to be the Sun and Sands Motel, so he was having a housewarming party. Edgar “Fast Eddie” Haynes — considered something of a ladies’ man around town — went to Glancy’s party accompanied by his then-girlfriend Dorothy Pritchard, a recent divorc�e. According to former Shamrock Chief of Police George Hooten, that night Pritchard wasn’t happy with then-Wheeler County Attorney Preston Stevens — who had a few private clients in addition to his county work — because of the way he’d allegedly handled her divorce. “Dorothy thought that she didn’t get a fair shake in the divorce,” Hooten says. “She blamed Mr. Stevens for incompetence. She thought Mr. Pritchard had hidden some of his assets.” Stevens, now the chief deputy district attorney for Ector County, did not return three phone calls seeking comment. No one answered calls placed to Pritchard’s phone number. “We were all drinking and there was a band in the back playing country western,” Glancy remembers. Stevens arrived at the party at 12:30 a.m. When Haynes and Stevens exchanged a few words, Glancy’s wife, Jo Del, sensed trouble so she asked Haynes to leave, according to court records. Instead Haynes and Pritchard left for the Reeves Truck Stop two blocks away on the east side of Shamrock, court records note. At about 3:30 a.m. the rest of the Glancy party moved over to the all-night truck stop also, including Stevens. “We went to eat and sober up,” Glancy recalls. According to court records, the events unfolded like this: Inside the restaurant Haynes encountered Stevens and they started arguing again. Haynes and Pritchard stood up to leave, and Stevens followed them outside. “Mr. Stevens wanted to go outside,” Hooten says. “But Mr. Haynes didn’t feel like going into that” although he eventually acquiesced. “Mr. Stevens was half the age of Mr. Haynes,” says Hooten. “He was a slim, trim young man, probably 31 or 32 years old, and Mr. Haynes was over 50.” Considering Stevens’ obvious physical advantage, Haynes must have decided against a fistfight. Instead, he pulled out a .25-caliber automatic and shot Stevens as he stepped out the door, grazing the side of his abdomen, court records note. “He struck him in the right side,” Hooten says. But the flesh wound was not life-threatening. ODD TWIST Regardless, Haynes was tried and convicted on July 18, 1978, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Gray County court records. The trial took place before Judge Grainger Mcalhaney in the 31st District Court in Pampa, Texas. Harold Comer, the district attorney who handled the case, says it was transferred to Gray County from Shamrock because the Wheeler County attorney was involved. In an odd twist, Comer and Hooten say Haynes was represented at trial by Stevens’ then-law partner, Guy S. Hardin. Hardin, who died in 1999, argued Haynes’ actions amounted to self-defense, Comer says. “But when I asked him to show the manner and method he used to shoot Mr. Stevens,” says Comer, “he demonstrated by turning his back to me and turning around and firing without any notice.” Comer says when Haynes showed his fast-draw technique in court that day, he became known as “Fast Eddie.” “And it didn’t help his self-defense [argument] much,” he says. Haynes spent four years in the Texas penitentiary. He died of cancer after his release, says Hooten. Glancy and Hooten agree that although it’s been 23 years since the day Fast Eddie shot the Wheeler County attorney, the people in Shamrock still talk about the incident and the man who had the fastest draw on Route 66.

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