Thirty-Years Ago, Coffee Co. Sheriff Shot and Killed

This week's murders in Jackson County brought back memories of the fatal shooting death of a former Coffee County sheriff nearly 30-years ago.

On March 1st, 1979, Sheriff Neal Grantham was walking to the Coffee County Jail in Elba when Billy Joe Magwood came from behind a tree and shot the sheriff.

Grantham was one of several names Maywood had written on a hit list.

Chief Deputy Ronnie Whitworth was a highway patrolman at the time. He arrested Magwood shortly after the killing.

"[In] law enforcement you’re not doing things to make people happy. It’s part of the job and that's the way it is. You never know what might happen. It can happen anytime," said Chief Whitworth.

Magwood remains on death row awaiting execution for the murder of Sheriff Grantham.


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