Special Deputy Vernie Melford Roberts

Special Deputy Vernie Melford Roberts

Delaware County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma

End of Watch Monday, July 19, 1999

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Vernie Melford Roberts

Special Deputy Roberts was shot and killed with his own weapon while transporting a juvenile prisoner from one juvenile facility to another. Deputy Roberts was driving and his wife, who was also a reserve deputy, was in the front passenger seat.

The suspect, who was in the back seat, was somehow able to reach from the back seat and grab Deputy Roberts' wife around the neck. He then demanded that Deputy Roberts pull the vehicle over and surrender his gun. After stopping, and exiting the vehicle a struggle ensued and the suspect gained control of the weapon and shot Deputy Roberts twice.

Deputy Roberts was flown to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His wife was uninjured.

The suspect then stole the unmarked cruiser, but was later captured after a short manhunt. He was tried as an adult, convicted of first degree murder on January 10, 2001, and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.


  • Age 65
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 9 Reflections

Monday, May 20, for police memorial I will be telling a class of about 40, this heroes story. This officer, like all, is a hero, and deserves his story told. It's hard to believe some people could do this to someone, but Officer Roberts left us, while serving the community. If the juvenille was on the streets, who knows what would have Happend. So, I wanted to take the time to say, thank you Officer, your a hero in my eyes, and your story will be heard. Rest in peace.

Kimberly Dutton
Criminal Justice Academy Mission Hills High School San Marcos, Ca

May 17, 2013

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