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Undersheriff Martin R. Kempton | Graham County Sheriff's Office, Arizona Graham County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

Undersheriff

Martin R. Kempton

Graham County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch: Saturday, February 9, 1918

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 39

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Undersheriff Martin Kempton, Sheriff Robert McBride, and Deputy Sheriff Kane Wooton were shot and killed as they approached a cabin where they intended to arrest two brothers and another man for draft evasion. During the exchange of gunfire, one suspect was also killed at the scene.

A month later three suspects were captured by a U.S. Cavalry Patrol near Hachita, New Mexico.

Three of the suspects, two of them brothers, were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Two were paroled in 1960 and pardoned in 1969; the third suspect died in prison on January 24, 1957, at the age of 86. At that time he was Arizona's oldest prisoner. A fourth suspect was killed at the scene.

Undersheriff Kempton was survived by his wife and seven children.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Sheriff Robert F. McBride
Graham County Sheriff's Office, Arizona
End of Watch: Saturday, February 9, 1918
Cause: Gunfire

Deputy Sheriff Kane Wooten
Graham County Sheriff's Office, Arizona
End of Watch: Saturday, February 9, 1918
Cause: Gunfire

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Please refer to the book entitled "The miracle of forgiveness" by Spencer W. Kimball. Pages 289-293 inclusive.

The first time I heard this story was in 1980 while I and my son Logan were wallpapering the Glen and Katherine Kempton's kitchen. Bishop Kempton related the story to my son.
I knew Bishop Kempton and his family for manyyears prior to this time.

David Lorenzo Brand
old friend of the Kempton family from Tempe, Az.
January 27, 2017

 

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