Honoring Those Who Have Fallen
Deputy William E. Hutson
Killed in the line of duty – Oct 5, 1910
On October 5th, 1910 at about 3pm Deputy Charlie Smith went to the residence of Will Summerlin in northwest Ocala. Summerlin had been arrested the day before by another Deputy for carrying a concealed weapon and had escaped from him. Deputy Smith was going to summerlins’ house to arrest him. Deputy Smith was met at the door by Summerlin who was in possession of a rifle. There was another unidentified male behind Summerlin with a shotgun. Deputy Smith backed off and called for backup. Deputy William E. Hutson responded and both Deputies attempted to enter the house. As they entered Summerlin opened fire hitting Hutson immediately, he fell backwards into the yard and Smith backed out and again summoned help. Among the first to arrive was former Sheriff and current Ocala Police Officer Henry Gordon, he attempted to assail the house and was shot twice. More armed men arrived and began firing into the house. When the shooting was over Summerlin was found dead from a self inflicted gunshot. The other man in the house was believed to be nephew of Summerlin’s identified only as Harvey. It was later revealed that he had left the house before Hutsons’ arrival was not involved in the shooting.
William E. Hutson was 42 years old and was survived by his wife and daughter Louise age 11.
Deputy Alan Osman Warren
Killed in the line of duty – June 4, 1926
Deputy Alan Osman Warren was a motorcycle patrolman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. On Saturday May 29th, 1926 Deputy Warren was working Traffic Patrol on the “South Dixie Highway” (US 441) near Belleview when his motorcycle was struck by a speeding car. He was taken to Marion General Hospital where he never regained consciousness. Deputy Warren died on June 4th, 1926.
Sheriff S.C.M. Thomas arrested four people; Russell Wyteman, and W. S. Pursell of Dunnellon, Leonard B Walker of Haines City Florida, and Miss Geneva Wilson. The vehicle; a Chrysler was located in the possession of Leonard Walker. The vehicle had damage on the right front fender which was consistent with the impact of the motorcycle.
Charges against the four were later dropped.
Deputy Warren was survived by his wife Nellie Purchase Warren, a daughter, Louise age 12 and a son, Clayton age 5
Sheriff Edward Porter Jr.
Killed in the line of duty – April 13, 1951
At 10:00 AM Friday April 13, 1951 Sheriff Ed Porter was investigating a bad check case at Tomlinson’s Men’s Store. A 16 year old juvenile, Orion Johnson, had forged a check to pay for a white coat. Sheriff Porter picked Orion at Howard High School and was taking him out to his house to get the coat. At the house Orion Johnson concealed an ice pick. When they got back in the Sheriff’s car he stabbed the Sheriff repeatedly as he fumbled for his revolver. Johnson then grabbed the gun and the Sheriff fell from the car to the ground. Johnson shot the Sheriff twice as he tried to get to his feet. The Sheriff tried once again to get up and Johnson shot him again. Johnson then pulled the Sheriff’s body into the car and shot him once more. He then drove about a half a mile down the road, ran the car into a tree, walked to a nearby house where he called a taxi. He changed clothes at home, and then went back to school.
The Sheriff’s body was discovered in his wrecked car about 5:00 PM. Deputies R. A. McDaniel and Doug Willis found Johnson at his grandmother’s house. A search warrant was obtained and the gun and Johnson’s bloody clothes were found in Johnson’s room. Confronted with the evidence Johnson gave a full confession. Johnson was taken to the Alachua county jail for his own protection. He was tried and convicted of the murder of Sheriff Ed Porter. In September of 1954 Orion Johnson was executed by electrocution at the Florida State Prison I Raiford Fl.
Sheriff Ed Porter was 44 years old and was survived by his wife Iva Mae and three year old daughter Anna Clair.
Deputy Robert Wooten
Killed in the line of duty – May 28, 1955
Deputy Curtis Youngblood
Killed in the line of duty – May 28, 1955
On the afternoon of May 28, 1955 Deputies Wooten and Youngblood went to the home of Edward and Bertha Lindley at 615 Elizabeth Street (now NE 19th street) to investigate allegations that the Lindley’s had been stealing kerosene from a neighbor. As they approached the house Bertha approached them carrying a shotgun, as Deputy Wooten took the shot gun from Bertha Edward fired a rifle from the house killing Deputy Wooten instantly. Before Deputy Youngblood could react Edward fired again killing Youngblood. Calls from neighbors flooded into the Sheriffs office. Every available officer in the county responded. As officers arrived Edward Lindley continued firing on them. Assistant Ocala Police Chief M.O. Tuck had taken cover behind a tree; Edward fired and struck M.O. Tuck. He was taken to the hospital where he died a short time later. Another Sheriff’s Deputy; W. G. Ergle was wounded in the shoot out. Eventually tear gas was put into the house, and the Lindleys surrendered.
The investigation revealed that Bertha Lindley never fired a shot. She was taken back to Indiana by family and died of natural causes in the 1980s Edward Lindley never stood trial for the murders of the three officers. He was found mentally incompetent and died at the State Mental hospital.
Deputy Robert Wooten was 56 years old and was survived by his wife Agnes Williams Wooten, three sons Robert L. Wooten, Thomas J. Wooten, and Irvin Eugene Wooten, one daughter, Mrs. Edward Green.
Deputy Curtis Youngblood was 39 years old and was survived by his wife Jonnie Long Youngblood and one daughter Deborah.
Deputy William Rutherford
Killed in the line of duty – January 2, 1990
Deputy Bill Rutherford was working patrol on afternoon shift on January 1, 1990. He made a late arrest and was finishing up paperwork at the jail until after midnight. Deputy Rutherford left the jail and was traveling west bound on SR 200. A vehicle driven by Danny Flenor, who was intoxicated, crossed into the path of Deputy Rutherford’s vehicle and struck him head on. Deputy Rutherford’s vehicles erupted into flames trapping him inside. He was pronounced dead at Munroe Regional Medical Center. Danny Flenor was pronounced dead at the scene, and a passenger in his vehicle was taken to Munroe.
Deputy William Hamilton Rutherford was 23 at the time he was killed. He was survived by his wife Rose Rutherford.
Deputy Brian Litz
Killed in the line of duty – February 7, 2004
Deputy Brian Litz along with another Deputy responded to Pine Run reference a well-being check on Ivan Gotham age 74. When the Deputies arrived at the house Gotham met them at the door with a hand gun. The Deputies backed off. Deputy Litz was attempting to pass under the front window of the home to gain a better observation point. Unknown to Deputy Litz, Gotham was observing from the above window and fired down striking Litz in the neck and killing him. During the ensuing stand off and attempted apprehension Gotham was killed by Deputies.
Deputy Brian Litz was 35 at the time he was murdered. He was survived by his wife Cherie and 5 year old son, Brian.
Be sure and stop by the Fallen Officer Memorial and pay tribute to all the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in protecting and serving this county. The Memorial is located on SE 25th Avenue at the McPherson Government Complex.