JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – George Ryan Walters collapsed during his first appearance in court when details of the investigation were revealed.

The Laurel Leader Call reported his bond was set at $50,000 by Judge Grant Hedgepeth on Thursday, April 6.

During the hearing, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) agent Zach Summers said security video of the incident showed that the victim had reapproached the church when Walters struck him in the face.

Summers said James Corey Donald turned to run away when Walters pulled his gun and shot him in the back. He then explained that Walters proceeded to kick Donald in the head.

As this information was revealed in court, the newspaper reported that Walters began to sink in his seat and became seemingly unresponsive.

He was taken to a local hospital and the courtroom was cleared.


JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) arrested George Ryan Walters in connection to the shooting incident at Rock Church on April 2, 2023.

According to MBI, he was charged with second degree murder.

Investigators said Walters surrendered himself to authorities and has been booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Facility.

George Walters (Courtesy: Jones Co. Sheriff’s Dept.)

Simpson County District Attorney Chris Hennis has been appointed by Jones County Circuit Judge Dal Williamson to oversee the prosecution of this case. Upon completing the investigation, agents will share their findings with the Simpson County District Attorney’s Office.

Walters was placed on administrative leave on Tuesday, April 4, from his position as a Reserve Deputy with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department prior to his arrest.

JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WHLT) – A Jones County reserve deputy has been placed on administrative leave after a fatal officer-involved shooting.

Leaders with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department said Reserve Deputy Ryan Walters will be on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI).

Walters, who is a member of the church and its security team, was involved in an altercation with James Corey Donald, 45, that resulted in Donald being shot. The incident happened in the parking lot of Rock Church on Highway 15 South near the intersection of Lower Myrick Road on Sunday, April 2.

The Laurel Leader Call reported that Donald later died on Monday, April 3.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.