Type of Officer: Corrections Officer
Jurisdiction: Hutchinson
County: Reno
Death Date: 7/26/1928
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Automobile Accident
Lee White a guard with the Hutchinson State Reformatory was in charge of a work detail on July 25, 1928, at the State Fairgrounds. The five inmates were involved with smoothing out the finishing coat of cement work on the new grandstands. They finished about 11:00 and began picking up tools. Just as White turned out a searchlight he was struck on the head by two of the inmates, Glenn Bellfield and Jake Schell, and knocked unconscious. The two escaped, changed clothes, shot a young girl in the cheek while commandeering her car, and left town. White regained consciousness and was treated by a local physician. After receiving the first aid White returned to the reformatory. Even though advised against it he was determined to join in the chase. Later that morning he took his brother’s Lincoln Touring car, an inmate driver, and two other reformatory officers. The automobile was traveling at a high rate of speed when it approached a curve in the road. The driver realized that he would be unable to make the turn and determined to go straight. The car hit a stump and rolled two times. As it came to rest White was underneath it. He died at the scene while the others suffered minor injuries. After a cross-country manhunt the two assailants were captured after a shootout in Roswell, New Mexico on July 29, 1928.

Panel: 29