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Constable Robert Murphy | Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Indiana Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Indiana

Constable

Robert Murphy

Franklin County Sheriff's Department, Indiana

End of Watch: Thursday, November 11, 1824

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 24

Tour: 1 week

Badge # Not available

Cause: Stabbed

Incident Date: 11/3/1824

Weapon: Edged weapon; Knife

Offender: Pardoned in 1825

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Constable Robert Murphy died eight days after being stabbed while attempting to serve a warrant in Bath Township.

The subject of the warrant was a 75-year-old man who was wanted for assaulting a female neighbor. When Constable Murphy first spoke to the man, the subject refused to accompany him and instead said he would appear the next morning.

Constable Murphy left the cabin but later returned to take the man into custody. He was met on the doorstep by the man who had pulled a butcher knife which he had hidden between logs in the wall. The man thrust the knife into the left side of Constable Murphy, who succumbed to his wound eight days later.

The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On May 27, 1825, as he stood on the gallows, the governor arrived by horseback from Indianapolis to grant him a pardon.

Constable Murphy had only recently been appointed as a constable by the county. He was survived by his five brothers, three sisters, parents and paternal grandparents.

Constable Murphy is the first known law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Indiana.

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