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 Martin was stabbed in the neck and an officer was stabbed and seriously injured by a prisoner while another prisoner was being released. The other prisoner had somehow gotten a hold of a screw driver. Chief Martin bled to death on the jail floor after being stabbed. The prisoner being released and closely related to the killer, ran from the jail with the killer. Since his release papers had hot been completed he was labeled an escapee. He was found a few hours later laying on the front porch of a Galax home. He had been shot to death. Five days later three Galax Police officers apprehended Chief Martin's killer near Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

The suspect, 22, 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. 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 3 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

Most Recent Reflection

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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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