The Douglasville Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received information that a known armed militia group, calling themselves the “Not Fucking Around Coalition”, or NFAC, was planning a protest on March 19, 2021, in Douglas County, over the recent death investigation of Stephen Styles. On March 18, 2021, Sheriff Tim Pounds and Chief Gary Sparks reached out to the group to let them know that a peaceful protest would be welcomed, but bringing any violence to Douglas County would not be tolerated. The group was respectful and gave no indications that they were coming for that purpose. Sheriff Pounds agreed to meet with them, and any member of the Styles family, about their concerns over the death investigation. On March 19, 2021, the group assembled at the Arbor Place Mall for a short period of time and then drove the Sheriff’s Office. The group parked outside the entrance of the Sheriff’s Office, where approximately 25 members donned black clothing, ballistic vests, facial coverings, firearms and high capacity magazines. As the group marched in formation, down the sidewall toward the Sheriff’s Office, they were met by deputies. The deputies spoke with the group about 100 yards from the entrance of the Sheriff’s Office, and informed them that they were entering an established guard line of the jail and that they were not permitted to proceed any further with their weapons. Approximately eight members of the group disarmed themselves and accompanied Stephen Styles’ brother to meet with Sheriff Pounds and Chief Sparks in the Sheriff’s conference room. Sheriff Pounds spoke to them about the death investigation, which, based on all available evidence, was a suicide.
After meeting with Sheriff Pounds, the group left the Sheriff’s Office and rearmed themselves. They very briefly blocked the roadway leading to the Sheriff’s office while they posed for a group picture and individual selfies. No one was obstructed from entering or leaving, in fact, as soon as the first vehicle approached they cleared the roadway and left. They then proceeded to the location where Stephen Styles’ body was discovered on Mason Creek Road. We received numerous calls about the armed militia group and concerned citizens were reassured that the assembly was peaceful.
During this incident the Douglas County Jail was placed on lockdown as a security measure. The lockdown was lifted after the armed militia group left the area.
In regards to the death investigation involving Mr. Stephen Styles:
On February 21st, 2021, deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a wooded area, located on Mason Creek Road in Winston, GA, regarding a vandalized and abandoned vehicle. This remote area of Mason Creek Road is an area where known drug abusers frequent and illegal trash dumping occurs. During the course of the investigation, deputies located Mr. Stephen Craig Styles, deceased by way of hanging, approximately two hundred and fifty yards from his vehicle.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Major Case Unit responded to the scene and began an investigation into the death. Throughout the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Mr. Styles had left his residence on February 12th, 2021, after a disagreement with his grandmother. Mr. Styles never returned home, nor was he reported as missing. Investigators learned that Mr. Styles was on parole for a child molestation and was being supervised by the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, via an ankle monitor that tracked his whereabouts at all times. In reviewing the records from Mr. Styles’ ankle monitor, it was determined that he’d left his residence on February 12th, 2021 and drove directly to the wooded area where his vehicle and body were found.
Further investigation of the vehicle proved that the vehicle was vandalized days after Mr. Styles had abandoned it on February 12th, 2021. Investigators also determined that the chair located next to Mr. Styles’ body contained a shoe impression, which matched the soles of the shoes he was wearing.
The ligature used for the suicide was brought to the scene by Mr. Styles, from his residence. Investigators conducted an external examination of Styles’ body, to include his clothing, and there was no indication of foul play. There were no indications on the ground or otherwise that there was any altercation or struggle near his vehicle or where he was located.
Styles’ body, along with the crime scene photographs, were sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office to undergo an autopsy. Autopsy findings concluded that the cause of death was ligature hanging and the manner of death is suicide.
Members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office met with Douglas County District Attorney Dalia Racine. District Attorney Racine had learned of the investigation and wanted to be briefed on the facts of the case. After reviewing the case with District Attorney Racine, she felt comfortable that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office had conducted a very thorough investigation and that all the facts indicated Mr. Stephen Styles had committed suicide.