End of Watch: Saturday, February 17, 1951
Age: 55 / Tour: 25 years / Cause: Gunfire
Constable Hardison was shot and killed with his own weapon while extraditing a prisoner from Los Angeles, California, back to Florida. As they drove through Alabama and neared Florida the un-handcuffed suspect gained control of Constable Hardison’s weapon and shot and killed him.
A few hours later Constable Hardison’s bloodstained car was found by police in New Orleans. The suspect was apprehended in New York City seven days later when he tried to pawn the constable’s .38 cal. pistol for $15. The suspect was returned to Alabama and charged with Constable Hardison’s murder.
The suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to life. He was paroled in January of 1969. In June of 1970 he was returned to prison for violating his parole.
Constable Hardison was a WWI U.S. Navy veteran. He was the elected constable for three years but served in law enforcement for 26 years. The position of elected Constable was abolished from Florida in 1973. He was survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. His wife took over his job as constable.