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Sergeant Myron G. Deckard | Vermilion County Sheriff's Department, Illinois Vermilion County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

Sergeant

Myron G. Deckard

Vermilion County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 72

Tour: 32 years

Badge # 406

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Officer's handgun

Offender: Death sentence commuted

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Sergeant Myron Deckard was shot and killed with his own weapon by a prisoner he was transporting to the jail in Danville.

Sergeant Deckard, the agency's warrant officer, had arrested the man in Hillsboro, Illinois, on outstanding misdemeanor warrants. He was transporting him back to Vermilion County when the prisoner freed himself and reached over the back seat of the squad car. The prisoner had been restrained in handcuffs attached to a restraining belt but was able to free one hand. He forced Sergeant Deckard to drive off the side of Interstate 72 in Macon County and a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the prisoner gained control of Sergeant Deckard's handgun and shot him twice, killing him. Sergeant Deckard's patrol car was not equipped with a cage.

After the incident, the man hitchhiked to a nearby sheriff's office and turned himself in, telling them he had just killed a deputy. A search ensued and officers located Sergeant Deckard still in his vehicle.

In November 2002, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On January 11, 2003, the outgoing governor granted clemency to all 167 Illinois death row inmates as one of his last acts in office. The inmate's sentence was commuted to life without parole.

Sergeant Deckard had served with the Vermilion County Sheriff's Department for 32 years and had been the warrant officer for 15 years. In 1983, he was shot twice and wounded by a suspect he was attempting to arrest. He was survived by his wife and son.

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I remember that night on June 6 2001 like it was yesterday. Communications had me call in and gave me the above information . The next few days were horrible.I could not believe Butch was gone. You see when I first started on the department very few of the guys wanted a woman on the streets.Butch however welcomed me with open arms he and my training officer Tim Wheeler taught me every thing I knew. Butch was one of the most compassionate guys you would ever want to meet. You could never tell him you liked something he had or he gave it to you and refused to take it back.Butch could also be tough and he had the reputation that if you were wanted you might as well turn yourself in because he would find you if it meant going to some pretty unconventional places to get you ( other police officers who knew Butch know what I mean ).
Butch,
I miss you and I think of you often and I know you are out there looking over the guys.
I love you,
Mary Wright

Sgt. Mary Wright
Verm CO Sheriff Retired
May 16, 2016

 

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