Patrol Officer John Ward Dotson

Patrol Officer John Ward Dotson

Chickasaw Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Tuesday, April 8, 1980

Add to My Heroes

John Ward Dotson

Patrol Officer John Dotson was shot and killed by a man he was writing a speeding citation to on Highway 43 in Saraland. His body was found beside his patrol car with the suspect's ticket clutched in his hand.

The 45-year-old subject who shot him was apprehended, found guilty of capital murder, and sentenced to life without parole. In 1989 and again in 1992 he received new trials and was sentenced to life without parole each time.

Officer Dotson had served with the Chickasaw Police Department for almost two years. He was survived by his expectant wife.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 11 months
  • Badge 20

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 21 Reflections

The killer of Officer John Dotson (Donald Lewis Owen) died in prison on February 15, 2021. He died of natural causes after serving more than four decades for his crimes. Our prayers go out to the friends and family of Officer Dotson. Many thanks for his service to our country.

John Haseltine

February 18, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.