Special Deputy Sheriff Joseph Townsend

Special Deputy Sheriff Joseph Townsend

McIntosh County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Friday, August 25, 1899

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Joseph Townsend

Special Deputy Sheriff Joseph Townsend was shot and killed and another deputy was seriously wounded by one of two brothers, 22 and 24, when they attempted to arrest them at their home for complicity in a riot.

A week earlier a riot resulted in Darien when the suspect's father, a prominent politician, was arrested for assaulting a woman. In the following days the situation grew worse as more than 40 rioters were arrested. After Deputy Townsend was killed Governor Allen D. Candler sent in the Georgia State Militia. Law and order was restored and both suspects were apprehended and charged with murder.

The suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. The Georgia Supreme Court stated they should have been charged with manslaughter only, and ordered a new trial. The killer was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in 1901. His brother was tried and acquitted.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 12 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 25, 2020

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