Tales of the U.S. Marshals: William T. Bentz, Deputy U.S. Marshal
William T. Bentz, Deputy U.S. Marshal
On February 22, 1872, a posse led by Deputy Bentz arrested several men wanted for assault on other federal officers.
The arrests took place outside the Flint Courthouse in the Goingsnake District where a trial was going on. A group of Cherokee’s were standing outside the courthouse.
Deputy Bentz started toward the group until he was about 30 yards away then motioned for the men to come to him. The deputy then turned to walk back to his horse when one of the men, Wesley Gritz, a Cherokee Deputy Sheriff of the district, shot Bentz in the back.
Another man, Sam Radcliffe, came from the courthouse, took one of the fallen deputy’s guns and shot him again in the chest and head as he laid on the ground, killing him.