The Walthourville Police Department and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the Monday night death of a Hinesville resident.
Walthourville Police Officer Michael Dumas said he responded to a call of a vehicle accident in Cedar Hill Mobile Home Park on West Oglethorpe Highway near Talmadge Road at 11:20 p.m.
According to Dumas’ incident report, he arrived on the scene and was told by a group of people gathered at lot 42 that an altercation took place over park resident Daryl Grant’s car keys. Those on the scene reportedly told Dumas that Kevin Herndon, who had been visiting the mobile home park, allegedly removed the keys from inside Grant’s vehicle. Both Grant, 42, and Devonsha Jones, 22, confronted Herndon, 40, about the missing keys, according to the report. Herndon then entered his vehicle and attempted to drive off.
The driver’s side door of the black Dodge pickup was open and Grant and Jones still were talking to Herndon as he reportedly began to back up the vehicle. Witnesses told the officer that Herndon allegedly sped off in reverse as Grant and Jones hung onto the door. Grant, according to Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jim Chapman, fell to the ground as the vehicle moved backward. Jones clung to the vehicle, which continued to move backward until it struck a tree. Jones was knocked unconscious, according to the report.
Jones was taken to Liberty County Regional Medical Center in Hinesville by a friend, where he later was pronounced dead.
Grant, an active-duty service member stationed at Fort Stewart, later was taken by ambulance to Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart. His condition is unknown, according to the report.
Herndon, who later learned he seriously had injured one of the men, encountered Dumas and LCSO Deputy Matthew Marchand at a local gas station, where he told the officers he was headed back to the site of the accident. Herndon was transported to the Liberty County Jail, where he was interviewed by Chapman and released Tuesday.
LCSO Chief Deputy Keith Moran said no charges have been filed against Herndon.
“We are continuing the investigation and, when it’s completed, will present the case to the district attorney, who will have the option of presenting it to a grand jury for charges,” Moran said.
The GBI crime lab conducted an autopsy on Jones’ body Tuesday afternoon to determine the exact cause of death, Chapman said.