Deputy Sheriff Henry Yates

Deputy Sheriff Henry Yates

Russell County Sheriff's Office, Virginia

End of Watch Sunday, December 27, 1931

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Henry Yates

Deputy Henry Yates succumbed to gunshot wound sustained the previous day while attempting to serve a warrant on the police chief of Honaker, Virginia. The warrant had been issued against the chief for being drunk in public.

The chief, accompanied by his brother, a local justice of the pease, confronted Deputy Yates as he walked along a street in Honaker. As Deputy Yates attempted to serve the warrant the chief opened fire. Despite being wounded, Deputy Yates returned fire, but did not strike the chief.

Deputy Yates was transported to Mattie Williams Hospital in Richlands, Virginia, where he died the following the day. The police chief was charged with murder and his brother was charged as an accessory.
The chief was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He was granted a new trial and was again convicted of murder but sentenced to 30 years on January 17, 1934. His brother was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to 20 years. He was also granted a new trial, the result of which is unknown.

Deputy Yates had served with the agency for four years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, December 26, 1931
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 30 years

Most Recent Reflection

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My father-in-law remembers this as his older sister was a witness to this shooting and had to testify in court. My father-in-law saw the mob coming to get the police chief after the shooting as this deputy was well liked ! Officer Mayfield Bremerton Police Department 442

Patrolman Mayfield
Bremerton Police Dept. Bremerton,WA

February 8, 2010

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