Deputy Sheriff Charles Ernest Adams

Deputy Sheriff Charles Ernest Adams

McLean County Sheriff's Office, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, April 7, 1933

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Charles Ernest Adams

Deputy Sheriff Charles Adams succumbed to wounds he suffered nine days earlier after being shot while attempting to serve an arrest warrant.

He and a DeWitt County deputy went to a grocery store at 1410 South Main Street, in Normal, at 8:30 am to arrest a subject on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and for the robbery of a restaurant in Clinton in DeWitt County. The subject had recently eloped to Indiana with the grocery store owner's 16-year-old daughter to marry her. The man attempted to see his wife at the store the night before, causing her father to seek the warrant.

After the other deputy handcuffed the suspect, retrieving one weapon, Deputy Adams took custody of him and telephoned the sheriff. The suspect produced a second pistol from his sleeve and shot Deputy Adams once in the back and three times in his leg. As the store owner attempted to gain control over the suspect's weapon, he was shot multiple times in the hand before the other deputy was able to shoot the suspect in the head and chest.

Deputy Adams was transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Bloomington where he succumbed to his wounds nine days later after developing septic pneumonia.

The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He lost his bid for parole for the 8th time in 1953. He was due to be released in 1964.

Deputy Adams had served with the McLean County Sheriff's Department for 1½ years and had previously served as an Empire Township deputy and the LeRoy town marshal. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, parents, two sisters and five brothers.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, March 29, 1933
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Sentenced to life

robbery, warrant service

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Adams' story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 3-26-17 to remember and honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan

March 26, 2017

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