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home : blogsold : verde heritage May 26, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Friday, July 19, 2013

1918: VERDE/CLEMENCEAU; Deputy Sheriff Lowry Murdered, July 16, Part 4.

Verde Heritage

"OFFICER TELLS OF KILLING HERNANDEZ: Coconino County Deputy Sheriff and Slayer of Jim Lowry Battled with Automatics at a Distance of 6 Feet."

"Undersheriff Johnnie Robinson, who had gone to the northeast corner of the county to assist in bringing in the body of Profirio Hernandez, the man who was shot and killed at Rattle Snake Tanks on Friday by a deputy sheriff from Coconino county, returned to Prescott yesterday evening and stated that the remains of the dead man had been positively identified as being those of the slayer of Ex-sheriff Jim Lowry. The remains were brought to Clarkdale"

"The coroner's inquest was held before Judge Hance at Camp Verde. The coroner's jury returned a verdict setting forth the fact that the deceased had been killed while resisting arrest and while he was a fugitive from justice. Deputy Sheriff Dickerson was exonerated."

"In speaking of the killing to Mr. Robinson, Deputy Sheriff Dickerson said:"

"'I had been able to get a good description of the fugitive from the circular which had been sent out by the Yavapai county sheriff's office, and I was positive as to the man's identity when I first met him. I saw him first at 11:30 Friday morning. He said that he had lost some sheep, and I steered him off into an old road leading to the Campbell-Francis sheep ranch. I was not exactly satisfied with the man's talk, and so I herded a bunch of cows off in the direction which the man had taken and again intercepted him. He then began to talk about wanting to buy a horse and kept edging off the road. I was then satisfied that he was the man being hunted, and in order to get his attention off of me for a second, I pointed over his shoulder and asked him if that was not a wolf over there in the distance. He turned to look, and then I jumped off my horse, gun in hand, and faced him. I was armed with a .38 Colt. I commanded him to throw up his hands. He did not comply, but reached for his gun, a .32 Savage automatic, the gun with which he had killed Lowry.'"

"'I fired then, the bullet striking him squarely in the breast. He got his gun into action before he fell, and shot at me four times, all of the shots going wild. I kept firing at him, and finally he sank to the ground and did not get up. I fired five shots altogether. I then headed for Camp Verde and notified the officers.'"

"The shooting between the two men took place while they were located about six feet from each other. Hernandez, who was about 22 years of age, had traveled about 33 miles from the place where he had killed Lowry. His shoes were total wrecks from his tramping over the rocky country. He had apparently traveled by night, and the officers found a place in an orchard where he had made his camp one day, and eaten a number of apples, peeling the fruit with a large sheath knife he carried."

"The man, after firing the shots at Dickerson, was without ammunition, having had only four shells in his gun."

"Undersheriff Robinson and Sheriff Young and their posses were in all probability responsible for the fugitive taking a road which led him to his fatal encounter with the Coconino deputy. The posses had been pressing the man hard, and at the time of his killing, they were only about six miles behind him. The body will probably be buried in Clarkdale."

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; July 24, 1918; page 5.)

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