Sergeant Carl Hiram Watson

Sergeant Carl Hiram Watson

Cordele Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Sunday, October 18, 1970

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Carl Hiram Watson

Sergeant Watson was shot and killed with his own weapon after arresting a man for selling muslim papers without a license. As he drove the man to the police station he was attacked and the suspect was able to gain control of his service weapon and shot him four times. The suspect and another man had been told to leave town the week before when they were caught selling the same paper.

His killer was apprehended in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by FBI Agents on May 18, 1971. He was returned to Cordele a year later, convicted of murder and sentenced to life. On April 13, 1981, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial, stating the jurors were improperly selected. On September 17, 1981, he was acquitted by the new jury. His trial was one of the most controversial trials in our nations history.

Sergeant Watson was a World War II veteran.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Sgt. Watson,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Cordele. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 18, 2020

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