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Former BCSO deputy charged in homicide
Report: Fatal shooting stemmed from argument over ex-wife
Dustin Leigh Cowart
Dustin Leigh Cowart

A former sheriff’s deputy killed another man Tuesday night, Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown said, during an argument concerning the accused assailant’s ex-wife.

Dustin Leigh Cowart, of a Highway 80, Portal address, is charged in the murder of Ray Clifford Beasley Jr., Brown said in a statement issued Wednesday morning.

According to a release from the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the intersection of Mixon and Rocky Ford roads around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday for “a call about a confrontation that led to a victim sustaining a gunshot wound.”

Deputies and investigators arrived to find Beasley dead at the scene.  

Cowart, 35, also was at the scene. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Bulloch County Jail, Brown said.

Cowart was a Bulloch County deputy from August 2011 to July 2014. Bulloch County Human resources Director Cindy Mallett said personnel records show Cowart resigned.

“The records indicate he resigned because he had different interests and was ready to move on,” Mallett said.

Beasley was not armed, Hutchens said.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Cowart and Beasley met at this location to have a discussion about Beasley’s relationship with Cowart’s ex-wife,” Brown said.

After interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence at the scene, deputies charged Cowart with felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during commission of a crime. 

He is being held in the Bulloch County Jail, without bond, as he awaits further court proceedings.

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