Martin Cooper Jones
Vermillion County Sheriff's Department
Friday, December 1, 1916

Age: 56
Served: 1 year, 11 months
Badge #:
Panel 27W, Line 25
Panel L9, Line 11 (2007)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, December 1, 1916
08:00 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Near Perrysville
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
.32-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Burial Place:
Newport Cemetery, Newport

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   Sheriff Martin Jones was killed while attempting to make an arrest of an intoxicated subject near Perrysville, four miles north of Cayuga.

   He had been informed by the subject's wife and brother that he had been drinking for several days, was being abusive and assaulting the brother. When Sheriff Jones and a citizen arrived at his home he was not there but were told he had gone first to a nearby residence, then to a grocery store. After looking for the subject at both places, they returned to his residence to find the man exiting the rear of the home.

   As Sheriff Jones and the citizen began placing the 56-year-old subject under arrest, the man pulled a revolver and shot Sheriff Jones once through the heart, killing him instantly. The citizen fired one shot in return from his revolver before it failed and he retreated while the man shot at him during his escape.

   Early the following day, several officers from the Clinton Police Department surrounded the suspect's residence, finding him in a field near the home and took the unarmed man into custody. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. On appeal, he was granted a new trial and acquitted by a jury in a change of venue to Parke County.

   Sheriff Jones, a Republican from Newport, was in the second year of his two-year term in office as the 29th sheriff of Vermillion County and had recently been re-elected to a second term. He was survived by his wife, daughter, six sons and two grandchildren.

   Harry Jones, his oldest son and a deputy with the department, was appointed to serve his father's second two-year term.

Historical Note

• Sheriff Jones is the second-oldest of the 21 sheriffs with line of duty deaths in Indiana.

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Sheriff Martin Cooper Jones - Vermillion County Sheriff's Department -