LCSO Releases 46 Count Indictment - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

LCSO releases 46 count indictment

Roy Mandel Smith and Terrance Gabriel "Pooch" Jones Roy Mandel Smith and Terrance Gabriel "Pooch" Jones

The Liberty County Sheriff's office says it is one step closer to justice in the Ernie Walthour case. The sheriff's office formed a task force to investigate his murder that happened back in June.

Thanks to that task force they have discovered enough evidence to charge two men with murder in a 46 count indictment, however neither of them are charged with Walthour's murder.

The sheriff's office formed the task force after noticing similarities between Waltour's murder and another man's murder, Orlejandro Marquise Smalls, in 2010. According to the LCSO, both men were murder directly after an illegal poker game with similar m/o's.

From their investigation, the task force uncovered enough evidence to solve a cold case and charged both Roy Mandel Smith and Terrance Gabriel "Pooch" Jones with the murder of two men from 1996 Liberty County. The sheriff's office was also able to charge Jones with the 2010 murder.

However, there is still not enough evidence to charge someone in Walthour's death, leaving his close friend and family with many unanswered questions.

"We do need closure on this," said close friend and co-worker Coach Simon Steele. "It's important that adults and kids who's live he's affected that we get some type of closure on this situation  so if that occurs then we will all be estatic."

Even Sheriff Steve Sikes says Walthour's death was tough on him. "Ernie was my friend. Ernie did a lot for this community. Did he get involved in these poker games? Yes he did, but he did a lot more good than he did harm. I will assure you that. He was a role model for a lot of young people, and I miss him a lot," said Sikes at the news conference Thursday.

The sheriff says they are still working diligently to get to the bottom of Walthour's murder and if you have any information you are urged to contact the Sheriff's office.

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