Deputy Sheriff Clarence Lee Ellison

Deputy Sheriff Clarence Lee Ellison

Rhea County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Friday, August 17, 1923

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Clarence Lee Ellison

Deputy Sheriff Lee Ellison was shot and killed while searching for a moonshine still in the mountains near his home in Roddy, Tennessee.

A large search for him was started the following day when he failed to return home. A blood-soaked handkerchief was found in the area he had told his wife he would be searching. His body was located one week later near a Southern Railroad trestle between Roddy and Glen Alice. An autopsy revealed that he had been shot 13 times.

Several men were arrested and charged with his murder. One, age 61, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. A second, age 21, was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10 years. The suspect sentenced to life was pardoned by Governor Henry H. Horton on March 8, 1932, after the other suspect convinced the state attorney general that he was the killer.

Deputy Ellison was a WWI veteran. He was survived by his wife and children.


  • Age 27
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life

alcohol violation, ambush

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Ellison,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served during World War I.


United States Border Patrol

August 17, 2023

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