Sheriff John Elbert Nelson

Sheriff John Elbert Nelson

George County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi

End of Watch Tuesday, December 21, 1948

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John Elbert Nelson

Sheriff John E. Nelson was shot and killed as he responded to a domestic disturbance at a residence one mile north of Lucedale.

Sheriff Nelson went to the home of a local farmer after the farmer's 18-year-old daughter told him that she ran for help when her father became violent and abusive with her mother. As Sheriff Nelson stepped out of his car, he was hit by a shotgun blast fired by the father who was hiding behind a nearby fence. The suspect fled in the sheriff's car which was found 10 miles away, wrecked, with the daughter's body inside. She had also been killed by a shotgun blast. Deputies discovered the buck-shot-riddled bodies of her mother and her two-month-old daughter.

The suspect, who was captured at his mother's home in Hurley on Christmas Day, admitted that he had killed all four. He was convicted of Sheriff Nelson's murder and executed in the electric chair on February 2nd, 1951.

Sheriff Nelson was serving his term as sheriff. He was survived by his wife, young daughter, and parents.


  • Age 45
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, December 20, 1948
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Executed in 1951

ambush, domestic

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for preserving my great grandfather’s legacy. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Gabby Davis Posadas
Great granddaughter of Sheriff Nelson

May 30, 2024

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