Whitesburg KY

Deputy killed in ’58 in line for honors

Deputy killed in ’58 in line for honors

A Letcher County sheriff ‘s deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 1958 is being honored for his work nearly 40 years later.

Deputy Conley Potter and 24 other officers killed in the line of duty will be honored today (Wednesday) by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training at its annual law enforcement memorial ceremony at Eastern Kentucky University.

Potter died on August 8, 1958. According to an article that appeared in The Mountain Eagle the following week, Potter was shot to death by a 20-year-old Isom man, Maxwell Oliver, who was on parole for shooting an officer and four other persons in a crowd in Perry County. A second man, 21-year-old Raymond Hensley, also of Isom, was charged with aiding and abetting Hensley in the death of Conley.

The Aug. 14, 1958 account of the crime quoted Letcher County Sheriff 34, was shot after Potter’s cousin, Curtis Potter, arrested Oliver and an 18-year-old Sergent woman for disorderly conduct.

Fulton said Conley Potter was with his cousin, and that the two men allowed the woman to stop at Sergent to get her shoes. Fulton said Oliver obtained a gun during the stop, then shot Conley Potter in the head about two miles from Sergent and forced the other deputy from the car.

Fulton told The Mountain Eagle that Oliver then shot Conley Potter a second time and forced Curtis Potter to drive on with the girl between them. Fulton said that after struggle between Oliver and Curtis Potter, Oliver escaped but was soon captured by Fulton at Thornton.

The names of Potter and the 24 other officers will be dedicated on the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial monument at 11 a.m. today (Wednesday).


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