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Prominent businessman from Blakely found dead

ALBANY -- Marvin Singletary, 67, a former businessman with ties to the Early County peanut industry, was found shot to death at his home on North Main Street Wednesday morning, Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials say.

GBI Special Agent-in-Charge Mike Lewis said investigators do not believe foul play was involved, but added that they have not determined if Singletary's death was an accident.

"We still have to determine the manner of his death," Lewis said. "At this time, we don't believe foul play was involved."

Singletary's body was transported to Atlanta for an autopsy.

Lewis said that the body was discovered shortly after 8 a.m.

Wednesday near the carport of his home on North Main Street. Preliminary indications are that he died from a single shot from a shotgun, which was recovered at the scene.

Singletary was the president of the former Blakely Peanut Company, which was purchased from local owners by Universal Leaf Tobacco of Richmond, Va., in 1984 but retained its name and leadership.

In 1992, the company was sold to another Virginia-based company, Birdsong Peanut, which currently owns the plant.

In 1987, Singletary was named by then-Gov. Joe Frank Harris to chair the Growth Strategy Commission's economic task force. The group issued a report to Harris in 1988 about the sustainability of economic development in Georgia.

Singletary is the husband of Henrietta Singletary, the former deputy to the assistant secretary of agriculture for rural development during the Carter Administration.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be made.