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Deputy Sheriff William Rainbolt | Chaves County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico Chaves County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

Deputy Sheriff

William Rainbolt

Chaves County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch: Friday, February 8, 1901

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 25

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; Revolver

Offender: Acquitted

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Deputy William Rainbolt was shot and killed after arresting a man who was carrying a revolver at a dance near Roswell. After ordering the man into the deputy's buggy to be taken to jail, the man's brother came out of the dance and tried to interfere.

When Deputy Rainbolt refused to release the prisoner the brother pulled out a revolver and opened fire, striking Deputy Rainbolt in the chest.

Both brothers fled the area and remained at large for 2 years. The brother who shot Deputy Rainbolt was finally arrested in North Dakota and returned to Chaves County to face charges of first degree murder. He was originally convicted of third degree murder but won a second trial on appeal. He was acquitted of first degree murder during the second trial and was freed.

Deputy Rainbolt had served with the Chaves County Sheriff's Department for 2 years. He was survived by his wife and child.

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Deputy Sheriff Rainbolt,
On today, the 115th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chaves County.


United States Border Patrol
February 8, 2016


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