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Deputy Sheriff William Francis Smithson | San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, California San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, California

Deputy Sheriff

William Francis Smithson

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, California

End of Watch: Sunday, October 20, 1907

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 2 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 10/19/1907

Weapon: Handgun; .32 caliber

Offender: Sentence commuted to life

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Deputy William Smithson was shot and killed as he attempted to arrest a man following a dispute at a local borax plant in Daggett. The man had struck the plant foreman over a pay dispute.

The foreman informed Deputy Smithson of the assault and the two, along with the foreman's wife, went to look for the suspect. They located him on a street and as Deputy Smithson began to ask how he was doing the man suddenly produced a revolver and shot him several times.

Deputy Smithson was taken to the local billiard hall, where he succumbed to his wounds the following morning.

The suspect was arrested during a search by a large posse. He was convicted of Deputy Smithson's murder and sentenced to death. The governor later commuted his sentence to life. He died in San Quentin State Prison in 1912.

Deputy Smithson had served with the agency for approximately 2 years. He was survived by his wife and daughter.

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Rest In Peace Brother. We remember and honor you on the 110th anniversary of your E.O.W. You are not forgotten.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA
October 20, 2017


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