UPDATE: Arrest made in murder of former Hardeeville fire chief

Mugshot of Devon Dunham. Photo courtesy: Chatham County Sheriff's Office

(HARDEEVILLE) An arrest has been made for the murder of a former Hardeeville fire chief.

City leaders tell WSAV Devon Dunham, 28, is responsible for the death of Earnest Martin Stevens.

Dunham, a felon, was arrested just before 9:30 p.m. on Friday and has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

Stevens, 77, was killed Thursday morning, near his home at the intersection of Ulman and Boyd Streets in Hardeeville.  The deadly shots were just before 9 a.m. Thursday morning. Police say Stevens died from multiple gunshot wounds after Dunham shot him while Stevens was trying to drive away.

Mayor Harry Williams says Stevens murder is unsettling. ” The whole community right now is very shaken. Him, because he was such a well-known figure in the community. And it, and it really hits close to home because he’s part of the Hardeeville Family. So when you lose someone of your family, it has a profound affect,” Williams said, adding that murder is uncommon in Hardeeville. ” he said. “So this is really a, a big shock to us all. And it, and it rocks us to our very foundation because it’s not something that’s part of our life here in Hardeeville.” Williams said.

Stevens was retired from Stone Container of Savannah; a member of the Hardeeville Marine Rescue Squadron; former Chief of the Hardeeville Volunteer Fire Department; member Gold Wing Road Riders Association and Deacon of the Hardeeville First Presbyterian Church.

Mayor Pro-Tem David Spisso says Stevens was clearly committed to his wife and high school sweetheart, Geraldine. ” He was also a devoted husband. I saw him near his wife and caring for his wife and taking her different places, and while they were here for catfish festival and places like that. He was very devoted and attentive to his wife.” said Spisso.

Mayor Williams says pillars of a community, like Martin Stevens, are rare, making the loss that much more devastating, especially when it’s due to violent crime. ” It’s so sudden, so unexpected, and he is such a, such a character in the community it, it’s it’s a loss to every one of us. ” Williams said.

Dunham is being held at the Chatham County Jail awaiting transfer to Jasper County.


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