Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Constable Dennis O'Donnell was shot and killed while serving a writ of replevin at a residence in Terre Haute.
After informing the homeowner's daughter the writ had been issued for outstanding installment payments of eight dollars for two blankets, her father emerged from a bedroom where he was sleeping.
As Constable O'Donnell pushed the daughter aside, a struggle ensued and he beat the father over the head with his revolver. The daughter handed a shotgun to her father who shot Constable O'Donnell point-blank in the neck, killing him instantly.
The 49-year-old man was charged with murder and claimed he was defending his daughter. The first trial, in a change of venue to Clay County, ended in a mistrial with a hung jury. During a retrial over a year later, the charge was dismissed when two witnesses could not be located.
Constable O'Donnell was survived by his wife and four children.
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This officer, discovered in 2019, has not been submitted for consideration as an eligible line of duty death to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by the Vigo County Sheriff's Department.