In 1882, Dakota Territory, Tim Ramsey was a young man with a business, and a new wife, Judith, who expecting their first child. His friend, Duncan MacLeod, worked at the regional newspaper, the North West Ledger, and was unaware that as a youth, Tim was part of a gang that robbed a train and killed a Wells Fargo man.
When the marshal, Mako, rode into town with a wanted posted for Ramsay, Tim saddled a horse and prepared to make a run for it. Confronted by MacLeod, Ramsey explained that he'd been 16 years old when his brother rode with the Dalton Gang. He had gone with them one night to hold the horses while the others robbed the train. The Wells Fargo man had been killed by a gang member, but Ramsey hadn't known about the killing until after the escape, and then spent the next two days hiding under the floor of his mother's house while lawmen searched for the brothers. He told MacLeod that Mako had already judged him, and that the best thing he could do was run, and send for his wife when Mako was gone.
Mako told MacLeod to tell Ramsey to come in peacefully and he'd have his day in court. If not, his warrant said dead or alive - the law was the law and there was no wiggle room. Ramsey, however, chose to face Mako with a gun. MacLeod tried to interfere, promised Mako he'd bring Tim in. Mako refused, saying it wasn't MacLeod's job and Ramsey had to go with him. Tim screamed "No!" and pulled his gun, Mako drew, and shot him dead in the street.