Constable John Coles

Constable John Coles

Estill County Constable's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Monday, April 30, 1923

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John Coles

Constable John Coles was shot and killed after raiding a moonshine still approximately seven miles from Irvine, Kentucky.

He and the other officers had arrested two men at the still and brought them back to Ravenna. A third man followed the posse back to Ravenna and opened fire on them just as they reached the city limits. Constable Coles was shot three times but was able to return fire and wounded the subject five times. The man was arrested, treated by a local doctor, and placed in jail. Constable Coles was taken to the hospital in Richmond where he died of his wounds.

The suspect's murder trial ended with a hung jury on September 27, 1923. He was released a few months later.

Constable Coles was survived by his wife.


  • Age 57
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot, wounded, tried, released

alcohol violation, ambush, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

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Constable Coles,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Estill County.


United States Border Patrol

April 30, 2023

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