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Deputy Sheriff Raymond Edison James | Kimble County Sheriff's Office, Texas Kimble County Sheriff's Office, Texas

Deputy Sheriff

Raymond Edison James

Kimble County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch: Saturday, June 2, 1917

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 29

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Not available

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Kimble County authorities received information that an army deserter had escaped from the jail at Rock Springs and boarded a freight wagon bound in the direction of Junction in Kimble County. Deputies Raymond James and J. W. Ragland, along with 2 freighters, were sent out to intercept the escapee.

When the suspect, Harrison S. McAlester, was located outside of Junction, he was ordered to stop and surrender. As McAlester stepped down from the wagon, he fired one shot from an army automatic pistol, which struck Deputy James in the abdomen. Deputy James was taken back to Junction, but later died on the operating table from the gunshot wound.

McAlester was overpowered and arrested by Deputy Ragland and taken to jail in Junction. McAlester stated he deserted from the U.S. Army in San Antonio on May 22. He was also suspected of being involved in two other murders in the Bexar County area involving several other deserters. McAlester was never charged in the Bexar County murders, however, his accomplices were.

Raymond Edison James was born at Pickton, Texas on September 16, 1887. He was married to Vara Pickett and had 2 children, Raymond, 3, and Vivian, 5. His mother, father, four brothers and one sister also survived him. He had only lived in Junction for one-and-one-half years. He was buried in the South Llano Cemetery.

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Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my grandfather, who I never knew (and who my father barely knew). I accompanied my father to the dedication of the Lost Lawman Memorial on the grounds of the Texas Sheriffs Association in Austin, and I still remember his sadness during this ceremony, grieving for the father he lost at age 3.

This sad story has a puzzling ending, which I have never been able to understand. The killer was not apparently not convicted of this crime. It has been several years since I found and read the old newspaper articles that reported this. I hope to find the transcripts from his trial to learn more, but I have never had the opportunity to search for them.

Ray W. James
Grandson of Raymond (Ray) Edison James
October 5, 2016

 

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