Sheriff E. M. Boyles

Sheriff E. M. Boyles

Marshall County Sheriff's Office, Alabama

End of Watch Thursday, May 17, 1951

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E. M. Boyles

Sheriff Boyles, Chief Deputy Bennett, and Chief of Police Leonard Floyd, of the Boaz Police Department, were shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant at a farmhouse on a man for assault with intent to kill a neighbor.

As the three and another deputy reached the suspect's farmhouse, the man came out firing at them with a rifle. The officers returned fire killing the man. As he fell his 16-year-old son grabbed the rifle. Firing rapidly from the hip he brought down all four lawmen. Chief Floyd and Sheriff Boyles were killed. Chief Deputy Bennett shot in the left temple, the bullet exiting his right jaw managed to get the badly wounded deputy in the car and drove into Boaz where he sounded the alarm. Chief Deputy Bennett died in a hospital three hours later.

The boy and two men in the house were charged with three counts of murder. The wounded deputy said not only did the youth fire shots, but more shots were fired from two windows. Yet charges were dropped against the two men and only the youth was tried. Over the next two years four trials ended with hung juries. Just before his fifth trial was to begin a plea bargain resulted in a 10 year sentence. He was paroled on December 24, 1957. His trials cost his mother $27,000.00. To this day in has been argued, "was it murder or self defense.


  • Age 55
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .32 caliber carbine
  • Offender Paroled in 1957

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Sheriff Boyles.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 8, 2023

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