Patrolman James Duane Hoff

Patrolman James Duane Hoff

Reno Police Department, Nevada

End of Watch Monday, June 25, 1979

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James Duane Hoff

Patrolman James Hoff was stabbed to death after being abducted during an undercover narcotics transaction.

Patrolman Hoff was posing as a drug dealer and had agreed to meet a buyer later in the night to conduct a transaction. The buyer and an accomplice, however, were planning on murdering the dealer and recruited two additional accomplices.

Shortly after Patrolman Hoff met the buyer, the surveillance equipment in his car malfunctioned and his backup officers were unable to hear what was occurring. The suspects were able to abduct him and stabbed him to death before dumping his body near the Dog Valley Road summit.

All four suspects, ages 16 to 20, were convicted of Patrolman Hoff's murder. The 20-year-old suspect was sentenced to death. On Oct. 27, 2011, the Nevada State Supreme Court upheld his conviction for the third time. He is the longest-serving inmate on Nevada's death row. The other three suspects were sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Patrolman Hoff had served with the Reno Police Department for seven years.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Sentenced to death

narcotics, abducted, investigation

Most Recent Reflection

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I was a newly hired police officer with the department in March 1979 and helped search until we found you. I did not know you but came to learn a lot about you. I have always held you in the utmost respect and still honor your memory to this day.

Jeffrey Johnson Sr. Police Officer
Reno Police Department

October 4, 2020

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