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 jail break. 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 he 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 in jail for murder. Two suspects was captured the next day. The other suspect was apprehended by FBI agents in Nashville, Tennessee, six months later.

Two suspects were convicted 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 agency for 6 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

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 7, 2020

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