Deputy Leonard A. Smith
On August 21, 1921 a group of Mexican bandits raided the Phearson store in Ruby, Arizona. Both Frank Phearson and his wife, Myrtle were killed. It was a year before the crime was solved and two of the bandits, Placido Silvas and Manuel Martinez, were tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged for their part in the robbery. On the evening of July 13, 1922, Santa Cruz County Sheriff George White and his deputy Leonard A. Smith left Nogales to transport Placido Silvas and Manuel Martinez to the state prison in Florence. As White entered a wash on the Nogales Highway, in the area of Sahuarita, he lost control and the car overturned. Sheriff White was killed outright and Deputy Smith was injured. Both prisoners escaped. Smith was taken to a hospital in Tucson, and died on July 17, 1922. Both prisoners were captured about a week later and transferred to Florence. Martinez was hanged and Silvas was granted a life sentence. Sheriff White was survived by a wife, two daughters and a son.