Story behind 'Dog the Bounty Hunter's' Conviction of First Degree Murder

Duane “Dog” Chapman tracked offenders down in his hot US reality show “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, but he has his own criminal past that is often forgotten. 

Chapman made a name for himself through his reality show which has run for eight seasons in the United States. His life has been riddled with mishaps, addictions, and tragedies throughout the years. The bounty hunter’s past still haunts him even after his controversial show was shut down. 

Chapman went behind the bars for his involvement in the 1976 murder of Jerry Oliver in Pampa, Texas. Oliver, who was selling marijuana to them, was shot dead by Chapman’s friend inside his house during a struggle. 


Although Chapman was waiting for his friend in a car outside Oliver’s home, he was convicted of first-degree murder and served one and half years of his five-year sentence. 

“I should not have been there, that's that," the bounty hunter said of the incident. 

However, his wife Beth was more outspoken about the situation. 

"It's just incredible that something that he did 33 years ago is just haunting him," she told Guardian. "It prevents him making a living. Our society is so unforgiving it seems, no matter how many good things we do."


During his time in prison, Chapman did fieldwork. One day, he found out that one of his fellow inmates was trying to escape and stopped him. 

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Ultimately, Chapman got rewarded for his good deed as he was taken off hard labor and served as the warden’s barber. He ended up serving 18 months of his five-year prison sentence.

It was the time he spent in prison that inspired Chapman’s to become a bounty hunter. His professional career as a bounty hunter kicked off in the 1980s.

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