Special Agent Shelby Wayne Nease

Special Agent Shelby Wayne Nease

CSX Transportation Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Tuesday, July 18, 1989

Shelby Wayne Nease

Special Agent Shelby Nease was assaulted and beaten to death while investigating the theft of copper wire in Harlan County, Kentucky. During the investigation he became involved in a pursuit with the four suspects as they left a scrap dealer's business. He was able to stop the men but they overpowered him and bludgeoned him to death.

His body was left in a creek off of Route 568 in Cranks, Kentucky.

All four were apprehended and convicted of various charges in connection with his murder. One of the suspects was sentenced to life in prison. The other three were sentenced to lesser sentences and have all been released from prison.

In August 2007 one of the suspects who had been released from prison was electrocuted and died while attempting to steal copper wire from an electric utility pole in Harlan County, Kentucky.

Agent Nease had served with the CSX Transportation Railroad Police Department for 18 years and had previously served with the Kentucky State Police. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Location Kentucky
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Correction to the sentencing of the actual killer. Larry Elmore was not sentenced to 40 years, he was sentenced to life without parole for 25 years, there was no LWOP at the time.


July 29, 2017

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