By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man pleads guilty to murder, rape
Sylvania man gets 5 life sentences for January incident
Frank Hayes Walters IV

A man who shot a woman in January, then raped her teenage daughter, pleaded guilty to multiple charges Tuesday and was sentenced to life without parole.
Frank Hayes Walters IV, 26, of Bascom Road in Sylvania, pleaded to murder, rape, four counts of aggravated child molestation, kidnapping, aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, financial transaction card theft and financial transaction card fraud, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Michael Muldrew said.
Walters shot Deidra Thompson, 34, of Swallowtail Drive, five times after an argument Jan. 13, Muldrew said. Then Walters used a second gun as he sexually assaulted her daughter, who was 15 at the time, before kidnapping her and taking her to another county.
Bulloch County Superior Court Judge William T. Woodrum sentenced Walters to five life sentences plus 46 years. For the murder charge, he was given a sentence of life without parole. The rape charge resulted in a second life sentence, to run consecutively with the murder sentence. The aggravated child molestation charge merged with the rape charge, Muldrew said.
But for three other counts of aggravated child molestation, Woodrum sentenced Walters to one life sentence to run consecutively and two life sentences to run concurrent with the murder charge sentence, he said.
Walters received two sentences of 20 years each, to run concurrently, for charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault. Two charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime garnered charges of five years each, to run consecutively. For the financial transaction card theft and fraud charges, Woodrum sentenced Walters to three years on each charge, concurrent with other charges.
On Jan. 13, Screven County sheriff’s deputies contacted the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office after a member of Walters’ family told them Walters showed up at their house in Screven County, claiming he had killed Thompson at her Swallowtail Drive home in Eagle Estates, according to Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
    Walters had Thompson’s 15-year-old daughter with him, the witness said.
    After handing over a handgun to family members, Walters left the teen there as well and fled into the woods, Anderson said.
    Screven County authorities transported Walters’ family member to Bulloch County, where they met with Bulloch County sheriff’s investigators. From there, they went to the Eagle Estates home where Walters told the witness he shot Thompson.
    When deputies forced their way into the home, they found Thompson’s body, “deceased from a gunshot wound,” Anderson said. Muldrew said Walters shot Thompson at least five times.
    While investigators worked on the crime scene, Screven County sheriff’s deputies located Walters and took him to the Bulloch County Jail, where he was questioned. The juvenile victim, who also was taken back to Bulloch County, was interviewed by deputies and taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center, where an exam revealed she had been sexually assaulted, Anderson said.
Further questioning revealed Walters killed Thompson, sexually assaulted the teen and took her to Screven County against her will, in that order, the sheriff said.
Muldrew said the teen was raped in both Bulloch and Screven counties multiple times.
Anderson said Walters stole Thompson’s credit card during the series of crimes.
“I’d like to commend the Bulloch County Sheriff’s office and Investigator Jason Long for their hard work,” Muldrew said. He also praised the Screven County Sheriff’s Office for cooperation and assistance in the case.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter