Sheriff James Lawrence Harber

Sheriff James Lawrence Harber

Izard County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas

End of Watch Tuesday, December 4, 1945

James Lawrence Harber

Sheriff Harber was shot and killed by a suspect while he and the Melbourne town marshal served a warrant for forging checks. The suspect had somehow slipped out of his handcuffs while being escorted out of his home and tackled Sheriff Harber. During the ensuing struggle the man yelled to his father to grab his shotgun.

The man's wife then drew a revolver and held the marshal at gunpoint. The suspect was able to break away from Sheriff Harber, ran inside and grabbed his shotgun, then returned outside. He ordered the town marshal to leave the area and then shot Sheriff Harber twice at close range, killing him.

The suspect and his wife fled into the hills and remained at large for almost two weeks. He was convicted of Sheriff Harber's murder and sentenced to death. He was later granted a new trial; convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to 21 years. On May 3, 1951, he was granted a furlough and released from prison. On Febuary 25, 1953, by order of the governor, the suspect was returned to prison besause of a fight he got into at a cafe in Bradford.

Sheriff Harber was survived by his wife and daughter. His wife was sworn in to complete her husband's term of office. She served from December 10, 1945, until December 31, 1946.

Bio

  • Age 43
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 21 years

Most Recent Reflection

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Your heroism and service is honored today, the 66th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

December 4, 2011

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