Ed Cantrell was charged with first-degree murder and the case drew national media attention. Cantrell's initial lawyer, Robert E. Pfister, brought in the now legendary, Gerry Spence, for the defense. An overwhelming problem for the defense was how Cantrell, who was seated in the front seat, could get his weapon out of his holster, and shoot Rosa if in fact Rosa was going for his gun. Even Spence, in his book Gunning for Justice confessed that he initially believed that Cantrell was an "assassin."
Trail lawyers frequently save their best witness for last and will occasionally make a "show." Juries remember best that which they heard first, and they heard last. Spence called as his last witness a former border patrolman, National Rifle Association shooter, and author of the book No Second Place Winner, Bill Jordan.
Spence received permission for a courtroom demonstration and gave Jordan a holstered gun loaded with blank rounds. A young deputy was given a cocked gun loaded with blank rounds and was told to point the gun at Jordan and if Jordan made any move towards his gun to pull the trigger. All the deputy had to do was pull the trigger.
All of a sudden, a shot rang out. The deputy stood chagrinned, with his weapon still unfired. Jordan testified that the normal human reaction time is 0.50 of a second, but he had trained himself to draw and fire in 0.27 of a second, nearly half the time for someone else merely to recognize that an opponent is going for his gun.