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Arrest warrant issued in Bibb County killing

A chicken pecked the ground Monday afternoon just a few yards from the back porch where Walter Henley was shot to death Saturday.

He’d been on the porch, his “Zen place” outfitted with a recliner overlooking his chicken pen, when a man knocked on the front door looking for him.

His daughter answered the door and told him where Henley was, said Samuel Henley, Walter Henley’s younger brother.

The men argued about a car -- and money. At some point, Walter Henley called the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, saying he needed a deputy to help remove trespassers from his property.

“He said ‘people wouldn’t leave’,” Capt. Mike Smallwood said. But Henley didn’t give dispatchers any names.

Minutes later, deputies were called and told that Henley had been shot multiple times, Smallwood said.

Samuel Henley said two of his nieces -- his brother’s daughters -- were home during the shooting. Their older sister returned home right after the shooting and called for help.

Walter “Walt” Henley, 59, was a single dad, raising the three girls since his wife died about 10 years ago. The girls, pre-teens and teenagers, are staying with family out of town.

Deputies obtained an arrest warrant Monday charging Willie Lee Bostic, 40, of Macon, with murder, Smallwood said.

Bostic and Walt Henley knew each other through a mutual acquaintance,

Although Henley told deputies he needed help getting “people” off his property, a witness saw just one person arguing with him, Smallwood said.

A small group of Henley’s family and friends gathered at his house Monday and worked to prepare the home for more visitors.

Henley was raised in Eastman, but he moved to Kentucky for auto mechanic training through a Job Corps program. Then he went to Florida and worked on cars. He “just kind of ended up” in Macon, his brother said.

At different times Henley owned repair shops in Warner Robins and Perry, and the No. 1 Auto Shop in Macon. He also sold cars after fixing them up.

“He loved working on cars. That was his life,” his brother said.

At the time of his death, Henley wasn’t working out of a shop, but he was still doing auto work.

Although he lives in Jacksonville, N.C., Samuel Henley said he had a close relationship with his brother.

“It was nothing for him to call me and us just talk a long time,” he said.

They talked for two hours Thursday night. Topics of conversation typically ranged from family to politics and reminiscing about Dodge County.

Walt Henley called his brother for the last time Saturday.

It was a short call while he was out at a pond with a fishing buddy.

Samuel Henley said he’ll remember it although they talked for only five minutes.

“He was just checking in,” Samuel Henley said.

Anyone with information about Bostic’s whereabouts is asked to call Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68-CRIME or the sheriff’s office at 746-9441.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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