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Deputy Sheriff Hardy Coffey | Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

Deputy Sheriff

Hardy Coffey

Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch: Monday, April 6, 1936

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 49

Tour: 6 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Paroled in 1948

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Deputy Hardy Coffey was shot and killed by his nephew, whom he suspected of breaking into several summer cabins.

Deputy Coffey had been patrolling Linville Village and returned to his home. As he was standing in the living room, a shotgun blast was fired through a window, fatally wounding him in front of his three young daughters. Deputy Coffey's nephew was apprehended and charged with his murder, which was likely an assassination to prevent the deputy from arresting him.

On July 9, 1936, the suspect became the first person to be convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Avery County. Governor Clyde R. Hoey commuted his sentence to life on August 4, 1938. He was paroled on January 12, 1948. He died of a heart attack in 1981.

Deputy Coffey had been employed with the Avery County Sheriff's Office for six years and was survived by his wife and three daughters.

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Gone, but not forgotten.

M. Potter
May 16, 2012


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