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Construction of the Pittsylvania County Fallen Officer’s Memorial


Deputy Sheriff George C. Williams Sr.
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Monday, January 16, 1928
 
Deputy Sheriff George C. Williams Sr.

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 36
   Tour of Duty: Not available
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Gunfire
   Date of Incident: Monday, January 16, 1928
   Weapon Used: Handgun; Revolver
   Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Deputy Williams was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who was wanted for several recent burglaries. Deputy Williams was off duty and working on his tobacco farm when he observed the man emerged from the nearby woods. Deputy Williams approached the man and placed him under arrest. As he began to search the man, the suspect produced a revolver and shot him once. Deputy Williams was able to struggle with the suspect and gained control of the revolver. He then shot the suspect twice as the man fled. The suspect collapsed approximately 100 yards away. Both men succumbed to their injuries.

Deputy Williams was survived by his wife.

 


Deputy Sheriff James Dallas Bryant
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Sunday, January 26, 1936
 
Deputy Sheriff James Dallas Bryant

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 49
   Tour of Duty: Not available
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
   Date of Incident: Sunday, January 26, 1936
   Weapon Used: Automobile
   Suspect Info: Convicted

Deputy Bryant was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while he and his partner questioned the driver of a suspicious vehicle during a traffic stop on Route 58. A vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed struck Deputy Bryant and then fled the scene. The driver was eventually identified and arrested. The man was convicted of the charges in connection with Deputy Bryant's death.

Deputy Bryant was survived by his wife and two sons.

 


Constable David J. Payne
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 20, 1936
 
Constable David J. Payne

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 37
   Tour of Duty: 6 yr
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Vehicular assault
   Date of Incident: Saturday, September 5, 1936
   Weapon Used: Automobile
   Suspect Info: Not available

Constable Payne succumbed to injuries sustained six weeks earlier when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver on the Franklin Turnpike. Constable Payne was making an arrest of an intoxicated man when another man attempted to free the suspect. A large group of people surrounded the officer. Some of the group attempted to assist Constable Payne as the others watched the activity. During the arrest, a car was driven into the group of people, killing two bystanders instantly and seriously injuring Constable Payne. Constable Payne was transported to Memorial Hospital with compound leg fractures which caused his death.

Constable Payne had been with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office for six years and was survived by his wife, daughter, two sons, parents, and nine siblings.

 


Constable William M. (Will) Coward
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Sunday, May 28, 1939
 
Constable William M. (Will) Coward

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 44
   Tour of Duty: Not available
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Gunfire
   Date of Incident: Sunday, May 28, 1939
   Weapon Used: Officer's handgun
   Suspect Info: Executed in 1939

Constable Coward was shot and killed with his own service weapon while arresting a man creating a disturbance at a church on Route 57 near Chatham. As Constable Coward made the arrest, two other men walked up behind him. One of the men grabbed Constable Coward's revolver from it's holster and then handed it to the second man. The second man then shot Constable Coward in the back. The man then shot him four more times in the back as Constable Coward laid on the ground. Constable Coward's 12-year-old son witnessed the murder.

The suspect fled the scene but was arrested the following day at his father's home. He was convicted of murdering Constable Coward and sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair on December 15, 1939. The accomplice was sentenced to 20 years.

Constable Coward was survived by his two sons.

 


Deputy Sheriff J. Holland Thomas Sr.
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Saturday, March 31, 1956
 
Deputy Sheriff J. Holland Thomas Sr.

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 59
   Tour of Duty: 33 yr
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Gunfire
   Date of Incident: Wednesday, October 8, 1952
   Weapon Used: Shotgun; 12 gauge
   Suspect Info: Not available

Deputy Thomas succumbed to a shotgun blast sustained three and a half years earlier while attempting to arrest a man wanted for killing his employer who supposedly owed him $18. Deputy Thomas was shot in the chest and abdomen area. He was taken to Memorial Hospital where he underwent several surgeries to have the pellets removed. Doctors were able to remove most of the pellets, but were unable to remove some from his abdomen. He was released from the hospital two weeks later and returned home.

Deputy Thomas never fully recovered and was forced to retire from the sheriff's office. In March 1956, one of the pellets caused an infection and internal bleeding that led to his death.

Deputy Thomas had been in law enforcement for 33 years and is survived by his wife, two sons, two daughters, seven grandchildren, and three sisters.

 


Deputy Sheriff Eugene Bradburn McBride
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Sunday, November 2, 1969
 
Photograph: Deputy Sheriff Eugene Bradburn McBride

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 52
   Tour of Duty: 9 years
   Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Heart attack
   Date of Incident: Sunday, November 2, 1969
   Weapon Used: Person
   Suspect Info: Not available

Deputy McBride suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after responding to a disorderly conduct call. He had arrested one subject when he started suffering chest pains. A second deputy who responded to the scene arrived to find Deputy McBride leaning over his patrol car's hood, clutching his chest.

The other deputy took control of the prisoner and Deputy McBride drove himself to the local hospital where he died a short time later.

Deputy McBride had served with the agency for just over 9 years. He was survived by his wife, four sons, two daughters, and his mother.

 


Deputy Sheriff Frankie Lynn Betterton
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Friday, May 17, 2002
 
Deputy Sheriff Frankie Lynn Betterton

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 43
   Tour of Duty: 3 yr
   Badge Number: 64

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Gunfire
   Date of Incident: Friday, May 17, 2002
   Weapon Used: Handgun; .380 caliber
   Suspect Info: Sentenced to life

Deputy Betterton was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on US Highway 58 near Danville, Virginia at approximately 1430 hours. Deputy Betterton had two vehicles pulled over at this traffic stop. One vehicle was being driven by a male, and the other vehicle was driven by his girlfriend. After letting the girlfriend go, Deputy Betterton had the male sit in his patrol car.

The male, who was seated in the passenger seat, produced a .380 caliber handgun and shot Deputy Betterton once in the head. The male fled the scene but was apprehended within hours.  The following morning at approximately 0530 he was charged with Capital Murder.  He was convicted of capital murder and the jury recommended the death penalty, but the judge instead sentenced the male to life in prison.

Deputy Betterton had been with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office for three years and is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

 


Investigator Terry Lee Barker Sr.
Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office, VA
End of Watch: Wednesday, December 8, 2004
 
Photograph: Investigator Terry Lee Barker Sr.

 
Biographical Info
   Age: 47
   Tour of Duty: 8 years
   Badge Number: 40

Incident Details
   Cause of Death: Heart attack
   Date of Incident: Wednesday, December 8, 2004
   Weapon Used: Not available
   Suspect Info: Not available

Investigator Terry Barker suffered a fatal heart attack while conducting a joint investigation with the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Investigator Barker and two agents were setting up a surveillance system in a remote wooded area near Brosville.
Investigator Barker had carried a 60-pound marine battery through the woods to the surveillance area to power the equipment. After setting up the surveillance system the agents returned to their vehicle to leave the area. As they drove away Investigator Barker slumped over the steering wheel. The agent in the passenger seat was able to control the vehicle to a stop and immediately started CPR on Investigator Barker. Investigator Barker was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Investigator Barker had served with the Pittsylvania County Sheriff's Office for 8 years. He is survived by his wife, two children, and parents.