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Deputy Joseph Staples | El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, California El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, California


Joseph Staples

El Dorado County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch: Friday, July 1, 1864

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 38

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Executed in 1865

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Deputy Staples was shot and killed and a constable was seriously wounded when they attenpted to arrest six stagecoach robbers.

The previous day six men wearing Confederate uniforms halted and robbed two stagecoaches near Placerville. The next morning Deputy Staples and a local constable followed the robbers' trail to a hotel in the nearby town of Somerset. Once inside the two were met with a fusillade of bullets. Deputy Staples was killed instantly. The constable, who ran back outside was shot three times and left for dead.

Seven weeks later all six suspects were apprehended in Santa Clara County. One suspect was convicted of first degree murder and hanged in Placerville on September 29, 1865. Another suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 20 years hard labor. The other four suspects were tried and acquitted.

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