Deputy Sheriff Antonio Lino Valdez

Deputy Sheriff Antonio Lino Valdez

San Miguel County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico

End of Watch Monday, April 5, 1880

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Antonio Lino Valdez

Deputy Sheriff Antonio Valdez was shot and killed during the escape attempt of a murder suspect. Two men entered the West Las Vegas Jail and asked to visit the suspect. As Sheriff Valdez brought the men to see the murder suspect one of the two men drew a gun and ordered Sheriff Valdez to hand over the keys to the cells. When he refused they shot him and took the keys. They passed the keys over to the murder suspect, but he declined to leave and stayed in his cell. The two men then fled.

Two separate posses searched for the killers of Sheriff Valdez. On December 24, 1880 one of the suspects rode into Stinking Springs with the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid, where he was captured along with Billy the Kid and his gang.

The captured suspect was sentenced to death for killing Sheriff Valdez, but escaped before he could be executed. In 1886 the suspect was beaten to death by an angry mob after he shot and killed two men over a card game. It is believed the suspect was a member of the Billy the Kid Gang which brought about five deaths. An accomplice of the suspect also killed a town marshal in 1884.

It is believed that the second suspect died in 1886.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One sentenced to death, but escaped

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Valdez,
On today, the 140th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of San Miguel County.


United States Border Patrol

April 5, 2020

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