Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County Dies in One-Car Wreck on Dirt Road Near Williams

Categories: News

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Image: Jamie Peachey
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever died in a one-car crash near Williams on Tuesday night.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, a likeable symbol of the lawless U.S. border with Mexico, died in a one-car crash on a forest road near Williams on Tuesday night.

The cause of accident is under investigation; media reports say Dever was on his way to a hunting trip with one of his six sons.

Dever is survived by his wife, Nancy, six sons and 13 grandchildren.

See Also:
-Larry Dever is a Real Arizona Sheriff
-Update: Popular Sheriff, 60, Killed When Truck Rolled

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Dever was known as a no-nonsense, right-wing border sheriff.

Dever was a cowboy-hat-and-boot-wearing, no-nonsense lawman whose right-wing political views were peppered with pragmatism, a politician trusted by Republicans and some Democrats.

A resident of St. David, (population: about 1,700), Dever became a deputy in 1976 and still carries scars on his face from a shootout with members of a Christian cult in 1982. Because of the county's porous border with Mexico, illegal immigration has been Dever's top issue since he was first elected in 1996. The issue became even bigger following crackdowns in California and western Arizona, causing more migrants to choose Cochise County as their route to American jobs. Dever's knowledge and experience on the hot-button issue was sought by nearly everyone trying to understand the problems of border enforcement.

Former New Times' writer Paul Rubin profiled Dever in April, in a story entitled "Larry Dever is a Real Arizona Sheriff." Here's a passage that embodies Dever's realist views:

It would be easy for me to say, 'You cross the border and we catch you, you're going to jail, line in the sand.' Not going to happen. The system can't absorb that kind of pressure. I'm not going to suggest that I'm a moderate on the whole issue, but I'm not a hawk, either," he insists. "There are shrill voices on both sides, and my job is to try to keep the lid on."

Dever was also a staunch supporter of SB1070 who believed the federal government had failed to control the southern border.

One of Dever's political allies, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, (whose "loosey-goosey" lifestyle didn't necessarily sit well with Dever) issued the following statement from his office: "I'm shocked and saddened to hear of Larry Dever's death, he was my friend, a leader on border security and leader among Sheriffs. This is a great loss to Arizona, a true patriot has died and he will be sorely missed."

Arizona senators Jon Kyl and John McCain just released this statement:

We were deeply saddened to learn about the sudden death of our friend Larry Dever. We spent a great deal of time at the border with Sheriff Dever and know first-hand his long commitment to keeping the people of our state safe. We also admired Sheriff Dever's strength to speak out when he believed more needed to be done to secure our border.

Sheriff Dever was not only a leader in Cochise County, but also across Arizona and throughout the law enforcement community. Sheriff Dever was a man of honor, integrity, and selfless service to the State of Arizona. He will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy, their sons, and the rest of Dever family.

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BTW don't take my sarcastic posts aimed at morons to mean that I wanted this man to die or something, I don't know much about him, but from what I have read he seems like he was an ok guy.


Is Arizona full of leftys or just this particular website.  Lost control of truck"For an unknown Reason," ??   Watch out Joe A., there sending you a message.  MY prayers are with Larrys family  and Joes family.  Be safe!


It is a sad day.  I extend sympathy to those that have lost this stand up guy.  I did not always agree with him, but he was not slimy like Arpaio or Babeu.  You always knew where Dever stood on the issues.  He seemed to be a man of compassion and reality in addition to being a tough Sheriff


This just shows that such mishaps can happen to anybody and you must know that life is precious and too often too short.  


Any word if Dever was seat belted as required?


this is sad. our prayers for the family.  How babeu comes to say a statement about it, when babeu didnt answer or call back Sheriff Dever when babeu was outed with real accusations ???


So sad to hear about this. Definitely a huge loss for Cochise County.


A sad loss of one of the civil and reasonable voices in the entire immigration debate.  I may not have agreed with all of his public statements on the issue, but I appreciated that he wasn't a shrill, media hogging demagogue and that he recognized that it was one issue among many that he dealt withat a law enforcement level.


Sad loss, while I disagreed with  what he said in some instances Sheriff Deaver was willing to discuss issues in a Civil Manner and look for the  actual solution and not just one that fitted a narrow political view. 

MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

 @comad Good point.


The Bald Bunion of Pinal County really has nothing to say on the issue. Neither does the MCSO shurf....


 @GrandmaAmerica57  @gerry_c yeah, wear one and you survive rollover accidents, don't wear one and you end up crushed by your own vehicle or battered about the cab. Are you a retard?

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