Marion County

Marion County deputy killed in the line of duty to be honored 129 years after his death

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Marion County deputy was shot and killed after taking a carriage ride to supervise a prisoner while he dug up gold to use to pay his attorney.

Court records recently uncovered that Deputy James George Binnicker’s death on Sept. 29, 1893 was the first known line-of-duty death in the department’s history.


The department is now scheduled to hold a memorial event in Binnicker’s honor on Wednesday, more than 129 years after his death.

He died of blood poisoning five days after the prisoner, Ed Dansey, gained control of his firearm and shot him while Dansey was digging for gold in the woods of Ocala.

Read: Human remains found in burned-out vehicle in Marion County

Deputies said information about Binnicker’s death was uncovered by Cpt. Kaley Behl of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office while researching ACSO’s accreditation.

Marion County deputies used court records to confirm the circumstances surrounding Binnicker’s death.

Read: Deputies investigate deadly shooting near walking trail in Marion County

Deputies said on Jan. 11, 1894, Dansey gave a full confession to the murder while standing on the gallows before his execution.

The memorial event in Binnicker’s honor will take place at Flemington Cemetery on Wednesday morning.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.