Constable
Robert Murphy
Franklin County Sheriff's Department
Thursday, November 11, 1824

Age: 24
Served: 1 week
Badge #:
Not Included
Included (2010)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Stabbed
Date/Time of Incident:
Wednesday, November 3, 1824

Incident to Death Duration:
8 days
Incident Location:

Incident County:
Franklin
Incident Township:
Bath
Weapon Used:
Edged weapon
Suspect Disposition:
Pardoned in 1825
Burial Place:
Bath Springs Cemetery, Quakerton

   Constable Robert Murphy died eight days after being stabbed while attempting to serve a warrant in Bath Township.

   The subject of the warrant was a 75-year-old man who was wanted for assaulting a female neighbor. When Constable Murphy first spoke to the man, the subject refused to accompany him and instead said he would appear the next morning.

   Constable Murphy left the cabin but later returned to take the man into custody. He was met on the doorstep by the man who had pulled a butcher knife which he had hidden between logs in the wall. The man thrust the knife into the left side of Constable Murphy, who died from the wound he suffered eight days later.

   The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On May 27, 1825, the governor arrived by horseback from Indianapolis to grant him a pardon as the offender stood on the gallows.

   Constable Murphy had only recently been appointed as a constable by the county. He was survived by his five brothers, three sisters, parents and paternal grandparents.

   He is the first known law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Indiana. Historically, he is the 22nd known line of duty death in the United States.

"My days on earth were few, the longer is my rest.
The Saviour call'd me soon, because he thought it best."

Constable Murphy's epitaph
~ ~ ~
This officer has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

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Constable Robert Murphy - Franklin County Sheriff's Department - INLEM.org