Lt. Bull Durham of Carter Sheriff's Office dies

John Thompson • Updated Aug 2, 2018 at 7:28 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The Carter County Sheriff’s Department is mourning the death of Lt. Brian “Bull” Durham, who was well liked by both the officers of the department and the public for his industry, integrity and good humor. He died at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville on Thursday.

Durham was an active patrol commander at the time of his death. He served the Carter County Sheriff’s Department for 14 years, working in various roles in patrol, corrections and as a member of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team. He was promoted to sergeant in 2009 and became a lieutenant in 2017.

A press release issued by the department said “the deputies of Carter County will remember Durham as an honorable leader, a man of his word and a friend. He had a reputation as a gentle giant and a man of integrity. He will be sorely missed by his friends and co-workers and by the county he faithfully served.”

“Bull was one of our best,” Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said Thursday afternoon. The sheriff said “my prayers are with his family, and I know the deputies feel the same way.”

Lunceford said four deputies from his patrol have been sent to Nashville as a guard of honor to escort their fallen leader’s body back home. He said all of the deputies of the department have placed a mourning ribbon over their badges.

That is an especially sad task for the deputies, who just removed their mourning ribbons following the death and funeral of another active duty lieutenant in the department, Lt. Forrest Sharpe, who died after an illness on July 23.

Durham’s death was also strongly felt because it was so unexpected. Lunceford said Durham had gone to Sycamore Shoals Hospital because of an inner ear problem. But his health quickly deteriorated and he was transported to Vanderbilt for surgery last week.

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