Facing more than 46 charges — including five for murder — Terrence Gabriel Jones was denied bond Monday morning in Liberty County Superior Court. Jones was arrested in October after Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes and Hinesville Police Chief George Stagmeier formed a joint task force to gather information in the July shooting death of youth basketball mentor and coach Ernie Walthour.
Walthour reportedly was killed during an attempted armed robbery as he was leaving a poker game.
Although no one has been charged in Walthour’s death, the investigation yielded sufficient evidence to arrest Jones in connection with other cases ranging from armed robbery, aggravated assault, the murder of Orlejandro Marquise Smalls and the armed robbery and aggravated assault of eight other people who were at a poker game the night of Smalls’ death in October 2010.
Smalls and Walthour reportedly knew each other, and the cases’ modi operandi were too similar to overlook, according to Sikes.
The task force also uncovered sufficient evidence to allow the grand jury to move forward with several other cases, including the double homicide of Jeneral Morgan and Rolando McIntosh and the Feb. 9, 1996, aggravated assault on Richard Hlliery in Walthourville. Jones has been charged in that case as well.
According to Atlantic Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Melissa Poole, Jones — along with two other suspects — is under indictment in McIntosh County for murder and was out on bond before the LCSO arrested him. She added Jones also may be connected to a bank robbery in Georgia and might have ties to another criminal incident in the Miami-Dade, Fla., area.
Poole asked Liberty Superior Court Judge Jay Stewart to deny bond based on Jones’ ties to people outside the community, which might allow him to flee the area. She also cited the extensive list of charges he faces and said Jones needs to be prevented from intimidating possible witnesses to crimes he may have committed in Liberty County.
Stewart denied bond, and Jones will be formally arraigned at a future hearing.
Jones is listed as having an Allenhurst address in public records, but his attorney, Joshua Brockington, said if he was released on bond, he would reside in Darien.