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Prison Guard Joe Byrd | South Carolina Department of Corrections, South Carolina South Carolina Department of Corrections, South Carolina

Prison Guard

Joe Byrd

South Carolina Department of Corrections, South Carolina

End of Watch: Thursday, March 12, 1936

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 42

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Assault

Weapon: Edged weapon; Axe

Offender: Executed in 1936

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Guard Joe Byrd was kidnapped and killed by a 17 year-old ex-convict.

Guard Byrd disappeared after leaving his home on Broad River Road in his car to report for duty at the state penitentiary in Columbia. The next day a local farmer came upon Guard Byrd's burned automobile in a woods five miles from where Guard Byrd lived. Guard Byrd's burned body was found in the back seat.

The Richland County Coroner reported that Guard Byrd had been dealt a crushing blow to his skull apparently before his body was tossed on the back seat and the car ignited.

The next day the suspect, who had only been out of prison for two days, was arrested in Charleston. He had stole an axe from Guard Byrd's home and then laid in wait for the guard on the back floor board of his car. He admitted that he struck Guard Byrd several times with the axe and then set his car on fire and pushed him into it.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and executed in the electric chair June 26, 1936.

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Corporal Joe Byrd was my great uncle by marriage. He married my grandmother's sister. I never knew him but I have a photo of him. Thank you for pulling him on the website.

C. Carlyle Steele
see above
January 11, 2013


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