Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Chief Deputy James Louis Wright

Polk County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, March 8, 1958

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James Louis Wright

Chief Deputy James Wright and Deputy Bob Rogers were shot and killed from ambush as they conducted a routine check of the Turtletown Grill on State Highway 68.

Two hidden gunmen opened fire on them with shotguns as they stepped out of their patrol car. Chief Deputy Wright and Deputy Rogers were both struck by the shotgun blasts and killed. A third deputy returned fire but did not strike the suspects.

The suspects were never identified. Authorities felt the murders were the result of years of feuding between county politicians and there was a question as to whether there were one or two suspects. Exactly one year later the tavern they were checking was bombed.

Chief Deputy Wright had served with the Polk County Sheriff's Office for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Never identified


Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Bigdaddy I miss you even though I never met you. I'm sorry its been 63 years & nobody has been held accountable for your murder. Carmel Gibson & the others who paid for your murder are passed now, except the waitress. I know Deputy Rogers family would like answers too. Know your sacrifice will never be forgotten. I love you.
Your granddaughter (JoAnn's daughter)

Michele Ballew Gregory

March 23, 2021

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