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Sheriff Don Martin dies
Coroner acting as sheriff
New Picture 1
Sheriff Don Martin(seated) shakes hands with Dub Flowers at a 2008 community reunion in the Taylors Creek community of what is now Fort Stewart. - photo by Photo from strickville.com

Liberty County Sheriff J. Don Martin died Thursday evening.
Martin's chief deputy, Keith Moran, confirmed that Martin died shortly after 8 p.m., surrounded by family and friends at his east Liberty County home.
Martin was injured in a two-vehicle accident on Dec. 3 in Midway and had been in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation since then. Early this week, his wife, Polly wrote in a Caring Bridge posting on the internet that the sheriff was re-admitted to the hospital Friday and diagnosed with sepsis.
The hospital discharged him Monday and the family reported hospice care had been arranged.
Martin was elected to his fourth four-year term as sheriff in 2008. Prior to entering law enforcement, the sheriff retired from the US Postal Service after 34 years of service.
Saying he saw a need for strong community involvement by the sheriff, he successfully campaigned for and won election in 1992. Upon taking office on Jan. 1, 1993, Martin began restructuring the sheriff's department to bring it in line with other modern law enforcement agencies.
He was born and raised on what is now Fort Stewart in Liberty County and attended and graduated from public schools here. He attended the sheriff certification course at the Georgia Police Academy as well as other courses connected to his duties as the senior law enforcement officer in the county.
Martin was a member of the Georgia Sheriff's Association and a supporter of the Georgia Sheriffs Youth Homes. Besides his wife, he is survived by three children.

There was no word Thursday night about funeral arrangements.

Succession

Liberty County Coroner Reginald Pierce said in a phone interview he was serving as acting sheriff. State statutes put the coroner in line for the position, if a county's probate judge has not made an appointment.
"I will be serving as the acting sheriff until an appointment to fill the position is made by Judge Nancy Aspinwall," Pierce said.
Pierce was not sure when the appointment will be made and who maybe selected.
Timing of the office vacancy makes it likely that a special election will be called. Some offices are already scheduled for summer primaries and November general elections.
Martin's current term would have lasted throught 2012. 

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