Deputy Sheriff James Billups Trevathan

Deputy Sheriff James Billups Trevathan

Surry County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, June 2, 1963

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James Billups Trevathan

Deputy Sheriff Jimmy Trevathan was shot and killed while attempting to stop a vehicle that had just been involved in two hit-and-runs.

The vehicle fled when Deputy Trevathan attempted to pull it over. The vehicle finally stopped after a short pursuit. As the driver exited the vehicle, he opened fire on Deputy Trevathan with a .38 caliber revolver, striking him twice. Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Trevathan returned fire, striking the subject once in the spine, paralyzing him.

The suspect and his girlfriend were charged with several crimes stemming from the incident, including Deputy Trevathan's murder.

The suspect was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 28 years in prison. He was released on March 1, 1976, and died three months later.

Deputy Trevathan was a United States Navy WWII veteran and had served with the Surry County Sheriff's Department for 6 months. He was survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter, parents, four brothers, and two sisters.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to 28 years

hit-and-run, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Trevathan,
On today, the 60th 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 U.S. Navy during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

June 2, 2023

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