Correctional Officer James Payton Jones

Correctional Officer James Payton Jones

Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma

End of Watch Sunday, February 17, 1935

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James Payton Jones

Correctional Officer James Jones was shot and killed during an escape attempt of 32 convicts at 2:00 pm.

He was assigned to the guard tower at the Oklahoma State Reformatory, in Granite, when one of the escaping inmates opened fire with a shotgun, killing him. The inmates obtained two guns that had been smuggled into them and took a school group hostage as the group took a tour.

Most if not all were eventually captured. Officer Jones' killer was identified and he and three others, who planned the escape, were charged with his murder. All four were convicted and sentenced to life. The killer was paroled on July 22, 1959. The other three were eventually transferred to Alcatraz to serve life sentences for federal crimes including bank robberies and kidnapping. One was pardoned by President Nixon on October 29, 1973.

Correctional Officer Jones' wife was standing on a porch a short distance away at the time of the shooting and witnessed her husband's murder.

Correctional Officer Jones had been with the agency for three years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 65
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1959

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Payton you are honored by this Federal Correctional Officer. You did not die in vain and these futile few seconds to honor are also dedicated to your family .. AMEN for men that stand watch as you did...

M, Fitzgerald
Federal Bureau of Prisons

February 17, 2020

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