Deputy Sheriff James W. Taylor

Deputy Sheriff James W. Taylor

Winston County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Wednesday, July 7, 1982

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James W. Taylor

Deputy Sheriff James Taylor was shot and killed during an attempted jailbreak. The brother and two acquaintances of a prisoner in the jail had come to break him out.

Deputy Taylor was sitting in his patrol car next to the county jail when three men who were approaching him suddenly opened fire with a shotgun and a pistol. He was shot several times and died instantly. The suspects fled from the scene after they failed to free a prisoner who was the brother of one of the suspects and was in jail for murder.

Two suspects were captured the next day. The other suspect was apprehended by FBI agents in Nashville, Tennessee, six months later.

Two suspects were convicted of Deputy Taylor's murder. One was sentenced to death, but later his sentence was commuted to life. The second suspect was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The third suspect was convicted of manslaughter.

Deputy Taylor had served with the Winston County Sheriff's Office for six years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Taylor,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 7, 2022

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