Ernie Walthour Sr., a youth-sports supporter and well-known community member, was found dead around 1:30 a.m. Monday outside a Midway mobile home, the apparent victim of an armed robbery, according to Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes.
Walthour was identified by Liberty County Coroner Reginald Pierce.
According to an incident report filed by LCSO Deputy Andrew Gose, who was first on scene, the incident happened at a home in the 200 block of Lewis Frasier Road. Gose was dispatched to the residence to check out a reported drive-by shooting. The deputy said he was flagged down by a person standing over Walthour, who was lying on the ground suffering from multiple wounds to his chest and abdomen. The person who flagged Gose down said he had been in the home at the time of the shooting and heard one gunshot.
Emergency medical personnel arrived soon thereafter, but found no signs of life.
Walthour’s BMW SUV later was found miles away from the shooting scene on Dave Williams Road.
Walthour, 46, was well-known in Liberty County and beyond for his work with youth, athletics and for organizing the annual Summer Slam festival. He also worked as a bondsman. Walthour organized and was a coach for the Coastal Crew Rebels basketball program, helped facilitate athletic and mentoring programs at St. James Community Church’s community center, served as First Presbyterian Christian Academy’s head basketball coach and coached basketball for the Youth ChalleNGe program on Fort Stewart.
Pierce said Walthour’s body has been sent for an autopsy at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab. Authorities have no suspects yet, but Sikes said the investigation is ongoing.