Jailer David B. Morrell

Jailer David B. Morrell

Thurston County Sheriff's Department, Washington

End of Watch Sunday, March 1, 1903

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David B. Morrell

Jailer David Morrell was beaten and shot to death by an escaping prisoner at the county jail at 4th Avenue and Eastside Street in Olympia.

At 3:00 p.m., He was locking a cell door when the prisoner attacked him from behind with a lead pipe that had broken off of the sink. The man then fled down a hallway with Jailer Morrell in pursuit. During the ensuing struggle, Jailer Morrell was beaten with the pipe and shot with his own revolver.

The suspect fled the scene but was captured six days later. The suspect was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years.

Jailer Morell was a veteran of the Civil War. He had served with the Thurston County Sheriff's Department for 20 years and previously served as a Warden with the Seatco Territorial Prison. He was a widower survived by an adopted son.


  • Age 56
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 20 years

escape, correctional Facility, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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David Bennett Morrell was 56 years old at the time of his death. He was a member of Olympia Masonic Lodge No.1, he was also, a member The Grand Army of the Republic Post No.5, Major General Milroy Post Commander.
He was buried March 3, 1903, in his Union Army uniform and his Deputy badge pinned to his chest.

Retired Military.
Historian for Olympia Lodge No.1

June 25, 2024

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