Chief Deputy Sheriff Dalton Burnam

Chief Deputy Sheriff Dalton Burnam

Dodge County Sheriff's Office, Georgia

End of Watch Saturday, October 6, 1973

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Dalton Burnam

Chief Deputy Sheriff Dalton Burnam and his wife were shot and killed by a hitman hired to retaliate against Deputy Burnam for testifying against a group of men running an illegal moonshine and drug business.

When Deputy Burnam's wife left her home on U.S. Highway 280 in Rhine, Georgia, to pick up Deputy Burnam from work, the subject entered the house through a window, cut the telephone lines, and lay in wait for Deputy Burnam to return home. As soon as they entered the house, the man shot Deputy Burnam in the back and his wife in the head.

In 1976, three drug dealers and a hitman were convicted of the murders and sentenced to two life terms. However, all men were released on parole within 15 years. The hitman, who was also suspected of several other murders, died in 2002 while on parole.

Deputy Burnam had served with the Dodge County Sheriff's Office for six years. He was survived by his son, daughter, sister, five brothers, and two grandchildren. His son served with the Eastman Police Department.


  • Age 59
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Life in prison- Paroled after 15 years

ambush, retaliation

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Burnham,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Dodge County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 6, 2023

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