Deputy Sheriff John W. "Johnnie" Martin

Deputy Sheriff John W. "Johnnie" Martin

Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Friday, March 28, 1924

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John W. "Johnnie" Martin

Deputy Sheriff Johnnie Martin was shot and killed after he and Sheriff T. G. Vaught stopped a vehicle they suspected of transporting whiskey at 9 p.m. about nine miles west of Nacogdoches at Little Loco bridge.

The car was driven by bootleggers Bud Dixon with I. V. Nobles and L. G. Hanks as passengers. The officers waited on a bridge for the car to drive by and stopped it as it approached.

The sheriff approached with a pistol in one hand and a flashlight in the other. Deputy Martin started to open a curtain to the see if there was whiskey in the car, when three shots were fired. Deputy Martin returned fire, killing Dixon and wounding Hanks.

The sheriff was wounded in both legs and struck Nobles in the head as he tried to escape. The sheriff called for Martin to stop Hanks from escaping, but Martin said, "I am shot through and through; I am killed." Hanks, 26, who was captured and claimed he shot at the officers in self-defense, was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison but the case was reversed on appeal. On July 25, 1925, he was sentenced to 10 years. He was paroled on January 20, 1927.

Deputy Martin was survived by his wife and three children. He was buried in the Blackjack Cemetery in Nacogdoches County.

On Jan. 4, 1928, Sheriff T. G. Vaught was shot and mortally wounded in a shooting affray with Deputy Sheriff Carl Butler. Sheriff Vaught died on January 6, 1928, and was buried in the Garrison Cemetery in Nacogdoches County.


  • Age 44
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Apprehended

alcohol violation

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You’re remembered not just today, but every day. I hope that you look down on us, and smile, and that you’re proud of the legacy that you left.

Kenda Martínez
Great Granddaughter

March 28, 2021

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