Sheriff Dennis J. Kelly

Sheriff Dennis J. Kelly

Nueces County Sheriff's Office, Texas

End of Watch Monday, June 13, 1870

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Dennis J. Kelly

On June 13, 1870, Nueces County Sheriff Dennis J. Kelly walked passed Thomas Burke on a downtown street in Corpus Christi. The sheriff knew Burke was wanted but walked past him. Burke shot and killed Sheriff Kelly. Burke fled and a $500 reward was offered for his capture, but no records located to indicate Burke was ever apprehended.

Sheriff Kelly was survived by his wife and five children. Sheriff Kelly was appointed on April 16, 1869 by General J. J. Reynolds’ Special Order #90; took the test oath April 30, 1869; elected December 3, 1869 and served until June 13, 1870 when he was murdered.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 1 year, 2 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Thomas Burke

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Rest in Peace Sheriff Dennis J. Kelly. Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice protecting the citizens of Nueces County, Texas.

I Pray for Peace for your ancestors. I also Pray that the hounds of hell are gnawing on the scum responsible for your murder. May his screams of anguish rise up from the lake of fire to warn other evil doers of their impending fate.


Senior Special Agent B.L. Sherwood (Ret)
Port Terminal Railroad Police Houston, TX

June 15, 2016

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