Bio & Incident Details
Age: Not available
Tour: 5 years
Badge # Not available
Incident Date: 5/28/1981
Suspect: Sentenced to life
Detective William Whitehead drowned after being beaten unconscious, handcuffed, and pushed into a river by two suspects. Detective Whitehead was questioning the two men outside of a bar on suspicion of sexually assaulting a juvenile female. The two men attacked him and handcuffed him behind the back with his own handcuffs. They then threw him into the New River under the Old Bridge at Court Street. A medical examination determined that Detective Whitehead was alive when he was thrown into the river. Both suspects were apprehended and charged with murder.
One of the suspects was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. The other suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years. He was paroled September 7, 1988.
Detective Whitehead was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War and had served with the Jacksonville Police Department for 5 years. He was survived by his wife.