Deputy Sheriff Hardy Coffey

Deputy Sheriff Hardy Coffey

Avery County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Monday, April 6, 1936

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

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Coffey,
On today, the 82nd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of of Avery County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 6, 2018

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