Deputy Joseph V. Conte was killed in the line of duty on July 11, 1979, while escorting prisoners from the Broward Sheriff's Office County Jail to a medical office in Fort Lauderdale.
Gary Eaton, one of the inmates whom Conte was escorting had planned an escape enlisting a girlfriend to hire a gunman to assist in the attempt. As Deputy Conte led Eaton from a detention van to the doctor's office, he was ambushed by the gunman, John Gombos, and was killed.
Gombos was convicted of second degree murder and aiding an escape. He is serving a 75-year sentence. Eaton was convicted of first degree murder and attempted escape and is sentenced to life in prison. Eaton's girlfriend, Dawn Sobel was also convicted of second degree murder.
Deputy Conte joined the Broward Sheriff's Office in 1976 after serving honorably in the U.S. Navy. In May 1999 Broward County named the new medium custody inmate housing facility in his honor.
Click here for information about the Broward Sheriff's Office Joseph V. Conte Facility