Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff James Arthur Bevis

Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Thursday, April 4, 1985

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff James Arthur Bevis

Thank you for your service

Mark Mottola

April 4, 2020

The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 20, 2016

I was a young Deputy Sheriff in Leon County when Mr. Bevis was murdered. Mr. Bevis is a relative of my brother in law and I remember the day he died very clearly. Mr. Bevis was a devoted family man and good law enforcement officer. This brave officer did not deserve this and the two suspects that committed this crime acted with pure evil. God Bless you Mr. Bevis and your family, you are a true hero. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Edwin Maxwell, Watch Commander, Retired
FDLE, Capitol Police Division

November 25, 2014

My wife is from Greenwood, and I've traveled Hwy. 162 seemingly hundreds of times over the years, but never without thinking of the night Deputy Bevis was murdered. I was on the ambulance call that night along with my friend the late Robby Brown and Marcus Basford. I can still see a cup of coffee siting atop the dashboard of his cruiser ... Engine running and lights flashing. Nearly 30 years ago, but very vivid in my mind.

David Selman
JCFR Auxiliary 1980s

May 27, 2013

Remembering you on the 28th Anniversary E.O.W. Deputy James Bevis. Thank you for your service to the citizens of Jackson County and the State of Florida. Rest easy Brother, we have the watch down here.

D/S Andrew D. Roedel S-4
Jackson County Sheriff's Office / Marianna, Florida

April 4, 2013

James you died before my birth, but I remember seeing you picture on my fathers desk as a child. I always asked "who is he daddy?" and him saying that James Bevis son he was my friend, he got killed on duty. I could always tell it bothered my dad and didn't really ask him much about it.
I became a cop in my fathers foot steps and yours alike several years ago and have learned more about you. Today I thought of you, I stopped by and talked to my dad and brought you up to him. He pulled out an old newspaper he saved from your death and told me about that night. Your picture by the way is still in his office today in the same place it has sat for the past twenty some odd years. I learned how much of an honarable man you were and how much of a friend you were to my father.
I wish I could have met you, however you still live amongst us. You will never be forgotten James. May god rest your soul and you have peace in heaven. God bless your family

K. Watford
Jackson County S.O.

April 13, 2012

I never had the opportunity to meet you Deputy Bevis, but have heard several stories around the department about you. Thank you for you sacrifice and service to the citizens of Jackson County, The State of Florida, and The United States of America. In just over a month you and the other fallen deputies from our department will be honored on the front lawn where the memorial stone has been placed. You will never be forgotten! Rest easy Deputy Bevis, we have the watch from here.

D/S Andrew D. Roedel
Jackson County Sheriff's Department - Marianna, FL

April 5, 2012

Deputy Bevis, we will never forget the sacrifice that you and your family made for all of us. May you continue to rest in peace sir.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL

April 4, 2012

Rest in Peace, Deputy Bevis. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 13, 2012

We have to put an end to this, this man was a Vietnam Veteran and Peace Officer. As a Veteran and Leo in training
I don't want to see your killers paroled. As a Combat Veteran you saw things nobody should ever have to just to give them the right to a fair trial. To your family I hope in the coming days God will grant you grace that in pain you may find comfort, in sorrow hope, and in death ressurection, as well may he assuage the anguish you feel and leave you with the happy memories of the loved and lost, and the solom pride that I know is yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Deputy Bevis Rest in Peace brother we got it from here.

LEO in training

January 20, 2012

We will never forget the heroes who gave their all for us, and you sir are one of them... Continue to rest in peace.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL


April 4, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 24th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Reading Deputy Hollis' moving tribute about you and your character really brings that point home. You sir were and will always be a true American hero.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 4, 2009


Pat Van Den Berghe

April 9, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 2, 2007


I often think about the last time we ate together at the truck stop. That was in the early morning hours of April 4, 1985. I can remember the exact booth where all three of us sat, the exact place in the booth where you sat. I can't remember the other deputy that ate with us that morning, though. (I'm getting old, sorry). That was over 22 years ago and I can still vividly remember a lot of the details of the tragic events that followed later that evening.

We have a corridor named after you at the Sheriff's Department and I still occasionally stop and run my fingers in the grooves on the sign with your name on it in the corridor. It is one of the things that keeps it fresh in my mind to "be careful".

You are sorely missed, James. Even after 22 years, your name still comes up at the Sheriff's Department among the guys. In fact, just today we were talking about you. (It was good, of course). :)

Every time our radio call numbers change, and the memo sheet comes out, there is a space where J-9 is, that says "Retired in memory of Sgt. James A. Bevis".

Rest in Peace my friend.

Deputy Kevin Barber
Jackson Co. S.O.

May 9, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

November 4, 2006

Deputy Bevis,

I have never met you. I have never met anyone of your family. I have only heard small pleasures spoken about you when this tragic night is mentioned.

I say all of this to say this, thank you for your service. You have given the ultimate sacrifice. That is the sacrifice that every law enforcement officer never wants to give but will for protection and safety of the community we live in. I am thankful for your service and diligence in performing your duties even to the point of giving your life. May your family be blessed for your unmatched sacrifice.
"Greater love have no man than this, then to lay down his life for his fellow man."

We will never forget.
Deputy D. Brock

Deputy Dustin Brock
Jackson County Sheriff's Office

June 15, 2005

I was just out of high school when this tragedy struck our community. I had no desires to become a law enforcement officer. It was men like you, who inspired me to take a decisive stand for RIGHT, as opposed for wrong. I applaud your bravery. The world needs more like you. May your memory live on in all our hearts. May God bless your soul.

Randolph Merritt Deputy Sheriff
Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department

July 19, 2004

Rest in peace.

Ofc. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Dept.

April 1, 2004

God Bless You James, We will fight on, and We will NEVER forget. Godspeed

February 4, 2004

Do you remember where you were on April 4th 1985? I know I'll never forget. That's the day Jackson County Deputy James Bevis was killed in the line of duty. I had worked with the Sneads Police Dept. before, but 4/4/85 was my first day on the job with the Marianna Police Dept. (I am now a Jackson County Deputy) I came home tired but excited after my first 6a-2p shift. I was halfway listening to my scanner. At 9:38 I heard that there had been a convenience store robbery and Officers were out hoping to put an end to the rash of robberies that had occurred over the previous 2 weeks. Less than 10 minutes later Deputy Bevis radioed that he had spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspect's. At 9:50 P.M. Sgt. Bevis stopped the vehicle. Inside he found the money and the gun from the robbery. At 9:52 he radioed back that he was 10-4. Less than 2 minutes later dispatch was unable to get a response. A couple of minutes later, Investigator John Dennis radioed that he could see Bevis' top lights in the distance. At 9:59 Dennis requested an ambulance and reported that Bevis had been shot. I quickly got dressed, grabbed my gun and headed for town. I continued to listen on the scanner, overhearing that a Deputy had been killed. My heart sank and the acid dumped in my stomach as I raced toward town. I found a marked unit on the perimeter and joined him for the remainder of the night as we listened to the tragic saga unfold. I listened on the private channel as Investigator Dennis' voice broke when he said that someone would have to inform the family. He had a wife, two children and an elderly mother. We waited in the dark all night as Officers searched, each of us hoping we would be the one to find the animal who had killed out friend. Officers from 150 miles away responded, more than 100 in all, many had never met James. Pride swelled in my heart, but sadness loomed heavy. Some of us cried, some of us got angry, but most of us just couldn't believe that out friend was gone forever. Cigarettes burned, coffee was drank and we all died a little that night. One male suspect, 18, turned himself in shortly after the incident and a second male, 18, was captured at around 7:30 the next morning. When the word went out that he had been located, 75 Officers were on scene before they could get him in the patrol car. He was not assaulted because we are proffessionals, which is more than I can say for the way he treated James. Sgt. Bevis was 40 years old at the time of his death. He had served in combat in Vietnam, he was active with the National Guard, and volunteered his time overseeing 40 young people in the Junior Deputy program. He worked 75 hours a week in addition to all of this. Our local National Guard Armory could not hold the overflowing crowd of hundreds for the funeral. We are a small rural county with a population of less than 50,000. Yet hundreds of people lined the roads for miles. Men, women, and children stood motionless except to remove a hat, cover their hearts, salute, or wipe the tears from their eyes. In the following days we were disturbed to learn that James was shot three times with his own gun. One year later, one suspect was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Then his sentence was reduced to 25 years to life. The Supreme Court said that there was no prolonged suffering by the victim and the fact that the victim was a law enforcement officer was insufficient to establish aggravating circumstances. It seems that people always say good things about someone when they die, but James Arthur Bevis was one of the most decent men I have ever met. Soft-spoken, even tempered, the kindness was evident in his eyes. I have carried a picture of him with me ever since he died and another hangs above my desk. He was my friend and I miss him. I see his children from time to time and I always find the time to honor his memory. He would have done the same for me. We miss you James, thanks for riding with me everyday. Deputy Sheriff Quinton Hollis

January 1, 2004

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