Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 32 years
Badge # 406
Weapon: Officer's handgun
Offender: Death sentence commuted
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.