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ODMP Remembers...

Deputy Sheriff John W. Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Deputy Sheriff

John W. "Johnnie" Martin

Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Friday, March 28, 1924

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 44

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Apprehended

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Deputy Sheriff Johnnie Martin was shot and killed after he and Sheriff T. G. Vaught stopped a vehicle they suspected of transporting whiskey. The car was driven by Bud Dixon with I. V. Nobles and L. G. Hanks as passengers. The officers waited on a bridge for the car to drive by and stopped it as it approached. The sheriff approached with a pistol in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Deputy Martin started to open a curtain to the see if there was whiskey in the car, when three shots were fired. Deputy Martin returned fire, killing Dixon and wounding Hanks. The sheriff was wounded in both legs and struck Nobles in the head as he tried to escape. The sheriff called for Martin to stop Hanks from escaping, but Martin said, I am shot through and through; I am killed. Hanks was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison, but the case was reversed on appeal.

Deputy Martin was survived by his wife and three children. He was buried in the Blackjack Cemetery in Nacogdoches County.

On January 4, 1928, Sheriff T. G. Vaught was shot and mortally wounded in a shooting affray with Deputy Sheriff Carl Butler. Sheriff Vaught died on January 6, 1928, and was buried in the Garrison Cemetery in Nacogdoches County.

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My great grandfather, you were long before my time, but your story and your heroism lives on. You're a constant presence in the life of my family in the memorial wreath proudly hanging over our mantle. My daughter, also the child of a Texas law enforcement officer, recounts your story in her school projects. My soldier sons have your bravery. You are a proud reminder of why our friends and other members put on the badge every day and face evil and do the good they do. Thank you for your sacrifice. ❤

Your great granddaughter,

Jennifer Rice
November 8, 2015


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