Miller Sheriff’s death ruled an accident

COLQUITT, Ga. — Miller County Sheriff H.E. “Buddy” Glass was a victim of drowning and possibly of heart disease, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

On Saturday, deputies with the Miller County Sheriff’s Office answered a 911 emergency call from Glass’s wife. They reported Glass had been pinned by his golf cart when it tipped over near a pond on his property. The case was turned over to the GBI, which ordered a routine autopsy to determine the cause of death.

According to Steve Turner, special agent in charge with the GBI in Thomasville, Glass’s death has been ruled an accidental drowning in his pond on Three Notch Road in Miller County. The fact that Glass was known to have heart disease may have contributed to his death, Turner said.

“We can’t say whether (Glass) may have had a heart attack and the drowning was caused by that or if the stress of the situation caused a heart attack,” Turner said. “We do know that he seemed to have been pinned down by the golf cart.”

On Wednesday, Congressman Sanford Bishop released a statement related to Glass’s death.

“Sheriff Glass will be greatly missed and long remembered, as I know that he served the people of Miller County as their chief law enforcement officer with devotion and distinction,” Bishop said. “My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to former Sheriff Glass’s wife, his six children, the Miller County Sheriff’s Department and the greater Miller County community during this period of loss.”

Shane Rathel, who had been serving as chief deputy with the department, is acting sheriff, according to sheriff’s office officials.

Glass was first elected as Miller County Sheriff in 1996, defeating William M. “Mike” Middleton. He replaced the the late C.C. “Shorty” Phillips, who retired after holding the position for 16 years.

Officials said funeral services for Glass would be held at 4 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Colquitt.