Montana Law Enforcement Museum

212 E. Broadway
Philipsburg, MT 59858
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Deputy Sheriff Joshua Thomas Rutherford

Blaine County Sheriff's Office

Joshua Thomas Rutherford Department Patch

Deputy Joshua Rutherford was shot and killed when he and another deputy responded to a domestic disturbance on U.S. Route 2 in Harlem, Montana.

Upon their arrival at the scene, the deputies encountered one of the subjects next to a motel. The subject was able to gain control of Deputy Rutherford's service weapon and opened fire on the deputies, killing Deputy Rutherford and wounding his partner. Deputy Rutherford was off duty at the time but had been called in to assist at the scene of the domestic disturbance.

The subject was apprehended following the shootings and was transferred to a jail in a neighboring county. The man was a registered violent offender. The suspect was convicted of deliberate homicide and attempted deliberate homicide on November 5, 2004. On December 9, 2005, he was sentenced to life without parole for Count I, Deliberate Homicide, for causing the death of Deputy Rutherford. He also received a consecutive sentence of life without parole for Count II, Attempted Deliberate Homicide, for attempting to kill Deputy Loren Janis. Furthermore, the defendant was declared a persistent felony offender and sentenced to an additional 100 years to run consecutive to the two life sentences.

Deputy Rutherford had served with the Blaine County Sheriff's Office for 4 years. He is survived by his wife, four young children, parents, three sisters, and two brothers.

End of Watch:
May 29, 2003
On the Force:
4 years
Badge Number: