Merritt Promoted to Colonel/Chief Deputy
On Tuesday Tift County Sheriff Gene Scarbrough promoted Ray Merritt to Chief Deputy with the rank of Colonel. Merritt had served as the head of the Criminal Investigative Division and has 28 years of service with the Tift County Sheriff's Office.
On January 13, 2020, the Tift County Sheriff's Office requested the GBI to assist in investigating the death of Earnest Fuller, age 58. Preliminary information indicates that in the early morning hours of January 13, 2020, deputies responded to 2903 Wilton Avenue in Tifton, GA in reference to a report of an unresponsive male. Once deputies arrived, they discovered Fuller suffering from a single gunshot wound. Fuller was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation remains active and ongoing with leads being pursued by both agents and investigators. Ernest Fuller's body was transported to the GBI Macon Crime Lab where an autopsy will be performed.
Anyone who has information pertaining to this death investigation is encouraged to contact the Tift County Sheriff's Office at (229) 388-6020 or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at (229)-777-2080.
Public Affairs Director
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
For Immediate Release Thursday, January 9, 2020
Contact: Nita Birmingham 229.326.5435Tift County: US 82 Rail Crossing Closing For Maintenance
TIFTON - The US 82/State Route 520/Fifth Street rail crossing near Commerce Way in Tifton is scheduled to close for two days for maintenance, requiring a detour for non-local traffic.
The crossing is scheduled to close at 9 a.m. Jan. 14 and reopen Jan. 16. The dates are subject to change based on the rail company's schedule and the weather.
Non-local traffic on US 82 approaching from the east will turn north on US 41/SR 7 (running common with Main Street, Love Avenue and 12th Street) to the Interstate 75 Exit 64 interchange. Traffic will travel south on I-75 to the Exit 62 interchange (US 82/SR 520). The pattern will be reversed for US 82 traffic approaching from the west. Detour signs will be posted.
New Deputy Sworn In
Sheriff Gene Scarbrough welcomes new Deputy Joshua Childs.
5 New Detention Officers Sworn In
From left to right: James Conner, Carlos Glover, Elaine Oliver, Sheriff Gene Scarbrough, Austin Lane & David Avellaneda.