Dennis M. O'Donnell
Vigo County Sheriff's Department
Monday, July 22, 1912

Age: 50
Served: 3 months
Badge #:
Not Included
Not Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, July 22, 1912
11:00 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
1200 South 13th½ Street, Terre Haute
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
Suspect Disposition:
Charges dismissed
Burial Place:
Saint Joseph Cemetery, Terre Haute

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   Constable Dennis O'Donnell was shot and killed while serving a writ of replevin at a residence in Terre Haute.

   After informing the homeowner's daughter the writ had been issued for outstanding installment payments of eight dollars for two blankets, her father emerged from a bedroom where he was sleeping.

   As Constable O'Donnell pushed the daughter aside, a struggle ensued and he beat the father over the head with his revolver. The daughter handed a shotgun to her father who shot Constable O'Donnell point-blank in the neck, killing him instantly.

   The 49-year-old man was charged with murder and claimed he was defending his daughter. The first trial, in a change of venue to Clay County, ended in a mistrial with a hung jury. During a retrial over a year later, the charge was dismissed when two witnesses could not be located.

   Constable O'Donnell, from Terre Haute and the appointed Harrison Township constable, was survived by his wife and four children.

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This officer, discovered in 2019, has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by the Vigo County Sheriff's Department.

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