Sheriff James T. Cooley

Sheriff James T. Cooley

Chilton County Sheriff's Department, Alabama

End of Watch Saturday, March 3, 1900

James T. Cooley

Sheriff James Cooley was beaten to death by an insane prisoner in the Chilton County Jail.

The suspect, who had been showing signs of insanity for several months, was placed in the county jail until papers, necessary for his commitment to the insane asylum, could be secured. There was only one other prisoner in the jail, so before leaving for the night, the jailer left the partition doors unlocked so both prisoners could enjoy the same stove. During the night the suspect beat the other prisoner to death with a wooden bat and then laid in wait for the jailer. When Sheriff Cooley opened the jail door about daylight, the suspect crushed his skull and escaped. He was recaptured later that day.


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

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object; Bat
  • Offender Apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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Never forgotten!!!

Lee Ann Thompson
AL Chapter Concerns of Police Survivors

March 3, 2013

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