Deputy Sheriff J. William Barnes

Deputy Sheriff J. William Barnes

Macoupin County Sheriff's Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, July 20, 1925

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J. William Barnes

Deputy Sheriff William Barnes was shot and killed as he attempted to question two youths at a filling station in Nilwood, Illinois.

Deputy Barnes had been warned earlier that the two youths, ages 18 and 19, were wanted for several hold-ups in Virden and Girard. The suspects' automobile was found overturned and abandoned three miles away. A posse captured both suspects two days later. One had a bullet wound in his shoulder from Deputy Barnes' return fire.

Both subjects were convicted of Deputy Barnes' murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison. On January 11th, 1941, Governor John Stelle commuted their sentences to 35 years.


  • Age 38
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 99 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time will ever erase your sacrifice and heroism. Rest in peace always.

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

July 20, 2020

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