Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn

Deputy Sheriff Lonnie C. Coburn

Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, February 21, 1978

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Lonnie C. Coburn

Deputy Lonnie Coburn was shot and killed when he confronted two suspects wanted in the connection of the rape, kidnapping, and murder of a young woman who was six months pregnant.

The two attacked him, gained control of his service weapon, and shot him twice. Both suspects were eventually apprehended, convicted of both murders, and sentenced to death. Both, 32 and 22, later had their sentences commuted to life. As on November 23, 2020, both were in prison.

A portion of State Road 50 near the scene of his murder was dedicated in his memory.


  • Age 25
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 16

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentence commuted to life

murder suspect

Most Recent Reflection

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My name is Terry L. Clinch. My family and I met Lonnie just one time. It was December 24, 1976. My parents had recently retired and moved to Hudson, Florida. At that time we lived in Nebraska but having a pilot’s license, we decided to make the flight with our two small daughters to surprise my parents on their first Christmas in Florida.
The closest airport to Hudson was Hernando County Airport so that’s where I landed. I needed to find a phone to call my parents to come get us. It was dark and I saw a porch light on a nearby house so I went to the door. Lonnie came to the door.
After I told him my story he said, it would be a much better surprise if we just showed up rather than call them and that he would be more than happy to take us. I was surprised but very grateful and accepted his generous offer.
We unloaded the plane into his car and my wife and two daughters, 7 & 4, and I got in. Lonnie drove us the 25 miles to my parents and then home, 50 miles total. He wouldn’t accept any compensation.
When he died my mom called us with the terrible news. We were devastated. He was such a kind and generous young man and died a true hero.
We feel blessed to have met him, if ever so briefly. He touched our hearts and we will never forget him.
Incidentally, we have since retired and now live in Hudson as did my parents.

Terry L. Clinch

March 18, 2023

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