Chief of Police Posey C. Martin

Chief of Police Posey C. Martin

Galax Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Thursday, February 21, 1935

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Posey C. Martin

Chief of Police Posey Martin was stabbed in the neck and another officer was stabbed and seriously injured by a prisoner who was armed with a screwdriver.

They were in the process of releasing another prisoner from the town jail when they were attacked. Chief Martin bled to death on the jail floor after being stabbed. The two prisoners were relatives and both ran from the jail after the attack. Since his release papers had hot been completed he was designated an escapee. He was found a few hours later shot to death on the front porch of a Galax home.

Five days later three Galax police officers apprehended Chief Martin's killer near Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

The suspect was convicted of Chief Martin's murder and sentenced to death. He was the primary suspect in the other escapee's murder because there were hard feelings between the two, but there was never enough evidence to prove he committed the murder. On April 18, 1939, Governor James H. Price commuted his sentence to life. He was paroled in November of 1947 but sent back to prison in 1950 for violating his parole. On November 28, 1961, he was pardoned by Governor James L. Almond Jr.

Chief Martin had served with the Galax Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Screwdriver
  • Offender Pardoned in 1961

escape attempt

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This is my great Grandfather, I never got to meet him but I heard lots of good stories about him !

Kenneth Hurt

October 22, 2021

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