Reserve Deputy John R. "Sonny" Litch, Jr.

Reserve Deputy John R. "Sonny" Litch, Jr.

Mahoning County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, October 22, 1981

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John R. "Sonny" Litch, Jr.

Reserve Deputy Sonny Litch was shot and killed when he was ambushed by the half-brother of a prisoner he was returning from the hospital to the Mahoning County Jail.

The subject rammed his own car into the back of Deputy Litch's car in front of Youngtown's central fire station. When Deputy Litch got out to investigate the man shot him with a sawed-off shotgun. Both men escaped but were apprehended two days later.

The 19-year-old man was originally sentenced to death but the sentence was overturned and he was then sentenced to life in prison. He was denied parole in January 2014. The subject's half-brother was also convicted of charges related to the incident and an unrelated murder charge. He died in prison on May 6th, 2007.

Reserve Deputy Litch was also a captain with the Campbell Fire Department. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

Bio

  • Age 43
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

ambush, escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Reserve Deputy Litch,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Mahoning County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

October 22, 2021

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