- The U.S. Marshals and Court Security
Protection of Federal Judges
In the Matter of David Neagle
"I Am an Officer!"
When Sarah Terry saw Justice Field sitting
down to breakfast, she immediately ran
back to the train to retrieve her purse, in
which she carried her gun. David Terry
came up behind the Justice and slapped
him twice in the face. Deputy Neagle
jumped up, yelling, "Stop that! I am an
officer." Terry reached inside his coat
while Deputy Neagle drew his pistol and
fired twice. David Terry fell dead, killed
instantly by a bullet to his heart.
Aftermath of the Gunfight
Immediately after Marshal Franks heard of the gunfight, he sent the
telegram pictured above to Attorney General William Miller.
Meanwhile, Sarah swore out an arrest warrant against both Deputy Neagle
and Justice Field for the murder of her husband. Both were arrested by
Sheriff Thomas Cunningham of the County of San Joaquin. Deputy Neagle
was taken to jail, but Justice Field was released on his
own recognizance. The charges against Field were later dropped.
Scene III: Deputy in Jail
Deputy Neagle spent several days in the
San Joaquin County jail. The pictured is
a contemporary newspaper drawing showing
him in his cell receiving friends.
While he waited, the U.S. Attorney in
San Francisco appealed to the circuit
court for a writ of habeus corpus to release Neagle.
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See also related
article on Protection of Judges