Thursday, May 8, 2014

Deputy Remembered & Honored As Agency Line Of Duty Death

Deputy Innes Killed In The Line Of Duty, 1906

Deputy Edward Innes, MCSO
Mesa County, Colo. -- On September 26, 1906, Deputy Edward Innes was struck from behind with a board and became the first and only Mesa County Sheriff’s Office employee to die in the line of duty. Inmate George McGarvey, jailed since April 1, 1906, on charges of attempting to criminally assault a nine-year-old girl, used the attack on Innes to escape the Mesa County Jail.  Deputy Innes, 28-years-old, passed away the following day from injuries sustained at the hands of McGarvey.

McGarvey, captured by DeBeque rancher William McDowell on September 30, 1906, was tried on October 3, convicted on October 4 and sentenced to death by hanging on October 5, 1906.  A swift justice for what was described as one of the foulest deeds enacted in Grand Junction at the time.

Edward Innes, a resident of Grand Junction since the age of four, was the only child of William and Lucy Innes. Edward’s father was the first elected Sheriff of the newly formed Mesa County from 1885 to 1886. Edward was Chief of the Grand Junction Fire Department for several years prior to his employment in the Mesa County jail. When William Innes passed away November 28, 1926, it was noted that Deputy Innes was “named to the responsible position of Undersheriff.” No other mention of this title has been found through research by current day MCSO staff.

Innes' grave, 2014
Edward Innes was inducted into the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial on May 5, 2000, which is located at the Colorado State Patrol Academy, in Golden, Colo.  This memorial was erected in 1979 as a tribute to Colorado’s fallen peace officers. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Colorado has lost 278 peace officers in the line of duty since records have been kept and available.

Several years later, the request was made to add Edward Innes to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located in Washington, D.C. The request was granted on February 13, 2007. The name of Edward Innes was unveiled on May 13, 2007, at the 19th annual candlelight vigil as part of the National Police Week celebration held in Washington, D.C.
Sheriff Hilkey etching Innes' name at NLEOM, May 2007
As referred to by family and friends of Deputy Innes in a Daily Sentinel article dated September 28, 1906 – “His character was above reproach, his disposition was such that drew to him readily warm friends that never wavered in their regard for him. True hearted, high and noble in his impulses and faithful to his friends there is little wonder that he was popular and there is little wonder the entire city should be stirred with indignation and anger over his tragic death at the hands of the vilest of criminals that was ever confined in a Mesa County prison (jail).”