Arrest Made in Poplar Springs Shooting Death

Whitworth faces multiple charges, including murder in the death of Poplar Springs man

Franklin County investigators have arrested a Lavonia man in the case of a man shot and killed in the Gumlog Community.

29-year old Billy Whitworth of Lavonia faces multiple charges in the death of Michael John Ehlers of Poplar Springs.

It happened last Friday, April 12, according to Franklin County Sheriff Steve Thomas.

“On April 12th 911 requested Franklin County Sheriff’s deputies respond to a residence on Poplar Springs Road in the Gumlog area,” Sheriff Steve Thomas said Wednesday morning. “EMS and deputies arrived and it appeared that a white male in his 50’s had been shot.  The victim was flown to Greenville Hospital and went into surgery. On Saturday, Greenville Hospital notified Franklin County investigators that the patient had died from a single gun shot wound.”

Thomas said the victim’s body was transported to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Meantime, Sheriff’s investigators along with agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation continued to work the case, collecting evidence and conducting interviews.

“On Tuesday afternoon, Franklin County Sheriff’s Investigators along with GBI Agents arrested
Billy Whitworth, 29 of Lavonia and charged him with the April 12th death of Michael John Ehlers
of Poplar Springs Road,” Thomas said Wednesday. “This case took many hours, days and nights as the investigation continued. Our prayers are with the victim and all families involved.”

Whitworth is charged Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession Of A Firearm By a Convicted Felon.  He is being held in the Franklin County Detention Center awaiting a first court appearance bond hearing.