Fired Sheriff's Deputy Found Dead Outside Home - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/27/08-Smith County

Fired Sheriff's Deputy Found Dead Outside Home

A former East Texas Sheriff's Deputy is found dead outside his home from an apparent suicide. The deputy was one of four fired last week from the Smith County Sheriff's Department, accused of using inmates to work on personal property, and pocketing county money. Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith talked about Lieutenant Gary Lile and his unexpected death.

"No one foresaw this...his family of course didn't foresee it," Smith says.

Early Thursday morning, Smith County Lieutenant Gary Lile, 57, was found by his wife, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

"It comes as a big shock to everyone concerned and this is a sad time for his family, and we're part of his family.  There are officers and staff here who were very close to Gary," he adds.

A 12-year veteran with the department, Lile worked as supervisor of the county's low-risk jail facility.

"Did an outstanding job, the people that worked with him, even the prisoners loved him."

Last week, Lile, and three other deputies were fired from the department, accused of using inmates to work on personal property and pocketing county money. Smith could not go into whether the apparent suicide was related to these recent revelations.

"That would be inappropriate for me to answer a question like that," Smith says.

But said, instead, that's not how Lt. Lile will be remembered.

"Gary Lile will go down in history as a very positive, loving, human being that was well-respected and well loved," Sheriff Smith concludes.

Right now, the department's internal investigation is being handed over to the Texas Rangers, where the three other deputies could face felony criminal charges.

Tracy Watler, Reporting

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