MailOnline Article Published 02/02/13, BRUNSWICK, GA —
A medical examiner has ruled that a Georgia county commissioner who drowned near a boat dock after suffering a gunshot to the head committed suicide, the county coroner said Friday.
Police found the body of 52-year-old Glynn County Commissioner Tom Sublett early on Dec. 11 in the water beside a docked boat on St. Simons Island. His wallet was in his back pocket and still contained his driver’s license and credit cards. An empty gun holster and a magazine loaded with 9mm bullets were found in Sublett’s car nearby, but no gun was recovered.
Glynn County Coroner Jimmy Durden said in a telephone interview that the manner of death according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Savannah is going to be suicide.
That conclusion is bound to prove contentious in the coastal community that was shocked by Sublett’s death two weeks before Christmas.
Authorities have spent nearly two months conducting a homicide investigation into Sublett’s death while offering a reward of $70,000 raised from fellow officials, friends and other private donors. And some evidence seems to contradict evidence that Sublett killed himself. Durden confirmed Friday that Sublett’s hands were bound in front of him when police found his body.
An attorney for Sublett’s family said his wife and other relatives ‘strongly disagree’ with any finding that he killed himself after leaving a poker game with friends.
‘There’s no history or even a notion of depression in Tom Sublett. There’s no alcohol abuse or drug abuse,’ Johnson said. ‘He was living his life in a normal way and proceeding with the normal daily activities and holiday season activities at the time this happened.’
GBI spokesman John Bankhead would not confirm that Sublett’s death had been ruled a suicide.