Deputy Sheriff Hardy Coffey

Deputy Sheriff Hardy Coffey

Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Monday, April 6, 1936

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Hardy Coffey

Deputy Hardy Coffey was shot and killed by his nephew, whom he suspected of breaking into several summer cabins.

Deputy Coffey had been patrolling Linville Village and returned to his home. As he was standing in the living room, a shotgun blast was fired through a window, fatally wounding him in front of his three young daughters. Deputy Coffey's nephew was apprehended and charged with his murder, which was likely an assassination to prevent the deputy from arresting him.

On July 9, 1936, the suspect became the first person to be convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Avery County. Governor Clyde R. Hoey commuted his sentence to life on August 4, 1938. He was paroled on January 12, 1948. He died of a heart attack in 1981.

Deputy Coffey had been employed with the Avery County Sheriff's Office for six years and was survived by his wife and three daughters.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1948

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My great-grandfather was murdered many years before I was born. I sure wish I had let him.

katherine Jeanette Forbes Orth

February 28, 2022

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