Fayette game warden dies from gunshot wound.
By Stephanie Taylor, Tuscaloosa News
March 26, 2002
FAYETTE | A state game warden died Monday, two weeks after he was shot while serving a search warrant.
Jimmy Hutto, 35, was shot in the abdomen during a March 8 drug raid in Fayette County. The game officer had been assisting local sheriff’s deputies in the raid.
The cause of death won’t be determined until an autopsy is completed, but Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials said Monday that his death was due to the gunshot wound, making Hutto the sixth Alabama conservation officer to die in the line of duty since 1964.
Hutto had been released from Carraway Methodist Medical Center Friday night. After spending the weekend at his home in Fayette, he was rushed to Fayette Medical Center Monday morning with respiratory problems.
Hospital spokeswoman Jackie Waldon said he arrived with no vital signs. Emergency room doctors pronounced him dead at 12:30 p.m.
The sudden reversal in Hutto’s condition came as a blow to his colleagues, who had expected the officer to recover.
At a state Conservation Advisory Board meeting the day after the drug raid, state Conservation Commissioner Riley Boykin Smith said the injury was not expected to be fatal.
Corky Pugh, director of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries division of the conservation department, visited Hutto in the Birmingham hospital last week.
"He was fighting a valiant fight, and he seemed to be winning," he said.
Hutto had worked as a conservation officer with the State Department since 1997.
"He was a very dedicated officer. We hate to lose him," Pugh said.
The state’s 153 conservation officers are certified state peace officers with full powers of arrest. In addition to enforcing game and fish regulations, the officers sometimes assist police.
Hutto was working with drug task forces from Fayette and Marion Counties at the time of the March 8 raid. Hutto was shot after entering a home in Wayside in northwest Fayette County.
Officials said the bullet was lodged near his pelvic bone.
David Mosher, 42, of Guin, was charged with attempted murder, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a pistol.
Fayette County Sheriff Richard White said autopsy results will determine whether Mosher will be charged with Hutto’s murder. White was only at the drug raid where Hutto was shot.
"It’s always a possibility in this line of work, and you hope it never happens. Unfortunately it does," he said.
He said Hutto often volunteered to assist the Sheriff’s department.
"He loved law enforcement and was always willing to help any way he could. He was a very dedicated, professional officer who loved his job," White said. "He was a credit to the law enforcement profession."
Before Hutto, the last game warden killed in the line of duty was former Tuscaloosa County High School teacher Jimmy Vines.
Vines was killed near Eutaw in January 1985 when he tried to apprehend two men who were hunting at night on private property.
Hutto was originally from Enterprise in south Alabama. He is survived by a 12-year-old daughter.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. today at Nelson Funeral Home in Fayette.
Staff Robert DeWitt contributed to this report.
IN THE LINE DUTY:
Six Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officers have been killed in the line of duty.
Jimmy Hutto, March 25, 2002
Jimmy Vines, Jan. 26, 1985
Cecil Chatman, Nov. 28, 1982
Frank Stewart Jr., Dec. 24, 1978
Walter Sawyer, Dec. 7, 1966
Lloyd Hayes, May 1, 1964.
I'm sorry to hear that a conservaton officer was killed.
I guess my question would be, how much training does a convservation officer recieve in the high risk activity of serving a search warrant? I understand that agencies cross train but was there enough training in place for such a lethal confrontation?
Anybody know what the particulars would be in this situation?
Most conservation officers here in the midwest go through the same courses, related to laws, arrest, first aid, weapons training, etc as our State Troopers do, and as our county deputy sheriffs do. They concentrate on game laws, and probably don't study accident investigation, but they otherwise are trained as well as any state or county officer to do their job. Conservation officers around here serve a number of search warrants, looking for poached game, etc, so I assume this guy was trained.
And, like anyone, trained or not, when the situation gets out of hand, or things don't go according to plan, people can get hurt.
(Small town cop in a former career.)
He actually was prior military(MP), police officer and worked high risk activity's for many years. He was no dummy walking in blind to do what he had to.
RIP... thank you for all that u did for us while you were here....
Wow; this is an old thread.
There are two types of countries in the world today.
Those that use the metric system and those that have been to the moon.