Deputy Sheriff Marlin S. Stephens

Deputy Sheriff Marlin S. Stephens

Miller County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Friday, March 21, 1975

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Marlin S. Stephens

Deputy Stephens was shot and killed by a drunk man who he had just driven home around 8 p.m. When the intoxicated man, a former county commissioner, stepped out of Deputy Stephens' vehicle he grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun out of the back of his pickup truck and shot Deputy Stephens.

Deputy Stephens, an Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War, had been with the agency for 2 years. He was survived by his wife, daughter, two brothers, two sisters, parents, maternal grandmother and other family members.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Charged with murder

off duty

Most Recent Reflection

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Marlin was a friend of mine. He and I were elementary and h.s. classmates. He and I played football together. Marlin was one of the best people I ever knew. I vividly remember the sendoff some of us gave Marlin at the old Polar Girl, just before his deployment to Vietnam. Marlin was a helicopter door gunner, one of the most dangerous jobs in the Army.

How awful and tragic that Marlin survived Vietnam, only to be heartlessly murdered by a drunk. My father was the judge when Marlin's killer was tried. The killer, unfortunately, was represented by my cousin, Peter Zack Geer,who was a skilled attorney.

My father charged the jury only to consider murder, with no consideration for lesser charges. I later asked my dad why he didn't include manslaughter in his charge , and he told me that he was required to charge what the evidence justified and that the evidence clearly showed that Marlin was murdered.

Many years later, I found out that several of the jurors had been visited and intimidated by relatives of the murderer. I was told about the jury tampering years after my dad died.

Many years ago, I told Marlin's brother, Larry what my dad had told me about the trial. I had intended to visit Marlin's mother, but failed to do so. If my dad had discovered the jury tampering, he would have declared a mistrial, and the tamperers would have gone to prison.

It's horrific enough that Marlin's family lost him so tragically. It's equally tragic that Marlin's family never received any kind of justice.

Walter I "Wig" Geer II

August 30, 2021

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