WARNER ROBINS -- A man found unconscious and then pronounced dead in the driveway of his American Boulevard home Friday died of natural causes, the coroner says.
Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin said 50-year-old Darrell Swint died of cirrhosis of the liver based on Monday’s autopsy.
Warner Robins police investigated the death as “suspicious” because there was blunt force trauma to his body, a Friday police news release stated.
Swint, who died on his birthday, had been drinking according to witnesses, Galpin said.
Swint was at a Johns Road residence when he fell, Galpin said. Swint had a bloody “abrasion to his eyebrow and his nose,” Galpin said.
Swint was pronounced dead outside his home by arriving emergency medical personnel.
“Just because there’s a lot of blood, doesn’t mean that there’s a crime,” Galpin said. “Any time there’s a head injury, you bleed really, really bad. So head injuries always look much worse than they generally are.”
A toxicology report is pending on Swint’s blood alcohol level, Galpin said. That could take a couple of months, he said.
While the circumstances were unusual, Swint had cirrhosis of the liver for some time, and his drinking Friday probably helped it along, causing his death, Galpin said.
“Cirrhosis of the liver is a long-term thing,” Galpin said. “It’s something that more than likely the alcohol caused it, but the liver just quits working, and then, all these toxins build up in your blood, and you finally die from them.”
At about 3 a.m. Friday, some men brought Swint back to his home, said 23-year-old Josh Fortson, the godson of Swint’s sister. The men said they didn’t want to deal with police but said Swint “fell out,” Fortson said Friday.
Fortson initially had trouble believing that Swint fell because he was bleeding so badly. But he said Monday that he was satisfied with the findings of the autopsy.
Investigators worked two crime scenes in connection with the death: Swint’s home near the corner of Carroll Drive and American Boulevard and a rental home at the corner of Johns Road and Carroll Drive.
An online police report Friday morning characterized the death as a “homicide” and used the term “brutal assault.” The “brutal assault” information was redacted from the incident report released to The Telegraph on Friday under the state’s open records law. The online reports have since been pulled from the Warner Robins police website, and a summary of reports released to The Telegraph on Monday reclassified it as a natural death.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.