Corporal Robert Whittington Klein

Corporal Robert Whittington Klein

Arkansas State Police, Arkansas

End of Watch Monday, October 15, 1984

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Robert Whittington Klein

Corporal Robert Klein was shot and killed by an escaped convict at 11:45 pm.

Corporal Klein and another trooper were investigating a truck that had been reported stolen 30 minutes earlier. The convicts had broken into a home, tied up the elderly occupants, stolen several items, including guns, and broken into a neighboring house. As Corporal Klein was inspecting the truck, a shot was fired, and Corporal Klein fell to the ground. The other trooper fired in the direction of the blast. The two escaped convicts hid in a greenhouse and attic of a home until they surrendered around 5 am.

The killer was convicted of Corporal Klein's murder and sentenced to death; he was executed on May 7, 1992. The other convict was sentenced to 86 years.

Corporal Klein had served with the Arkansas State Police for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, three sons, and a brother.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 73

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced to death


Most Recent Reflection

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Robby Klein (as we called him) was my next-door neighbor growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas. While I was noisily building treehouses and contraptions in my back yard, he rarely complained. My parents often praised him not only as a police officer but also as a very well-educated man. I was away at college when I heard about his death and I was stunned. I couldn't believe that he could be there one moment and gone the next. He was one of the nicest, kindest most decent men I ever met and he left behind a beautiful wife and child. Even 38 years later, I choke up just thinking about it.

Ken Fishbein

August 2, 2022

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