Officials name deputies who fatally shot man in drug sting

Officials name deputies who fatally shot man in drug sting

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Legal counsel for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office released the names of the two deputies who fatally shot a man during a drug sting.

Scott Warnock and Kenneth Manuel fired at 42-year-old Dexter Bethea during the operation on April 8th.

Officials were in the process of arresting Bethea in the parking lot of an Econo Lodge off of St. Augustine Road.

According to a report, Bethea tried to elude the arrest, and attempted to hit the deputies with his vehicle.

An autopsy showed that he died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed two other people, 29-year-old Jasmine Riley and 39-year-old Michael Hendley, both of Valdosta, were also in the car.

They were both arrested after the shooting and taken to the Lowndes County jail on multiple drug charges.

Investigators said they found cocaine, marijuana, and a large amount of cash in the car.

Two others, 40 year-old Christopher Williams, of Jacksonville, and 32 year-old Connie Wood, of Jacksonville Beach, were arrested about an hour before the shooting, also in connection with what authorities said was an attempted drug sale.

Officials said the deputies were placed on paid leave during the investigation, which is standard procedure.

The shooting comes less than six months after another incident in December. In that incident, Lowndes County Sheriff's deputies responded to the report of a man with a gun who was threatening to commit suicide.

Lowndes County Deputy SSgt. Charles McEady fired several shots at 52-year-old Thomas Joslyn, after he approached Mceady with a gun, making more suicide threats.

Joslyn was taken to the hospital after he was hit in the leg, but survived his injuries. He was later charged in that incident.

SSgt. McEady was later cleared in the case, and returned to active duty.

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