GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Flags outside the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport have been lowered to half staff. The county is paying tribute to William Martin, the supervisor who was found dead inside his Gulfport home Thursday, moments after being indicted by a federal grand jury on bribery and obstruction of justice charges. Those flags happen to be directly in front of a sign that saves a parking space for the district four supervisor.
Martin was 58-year-old. He became district four supervisor in 1999.
Williams-Lockett Mortuary is handling Martin's funeral arrangements. So far, details of his service have not been released.
Harrison County's coroner confirms Martin died Thursday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest. A note was found in the supervisor's home. But, the contents of what he wrote have not been released.
Martin's defense attorney Jim Davis called the supervisor "a person who greatly appreciated the public trust people had for him." Davis talked with his client Wednesday as they prepared for Martin's arraignment. "He was ready to mount a defense as best we could," said Davis. "William clearly planned on entering a not guilty plea and defending the charges vigorously."
Until yesterday, William Martin was the only person to qualify for the district four supervisors election this year. After his indictment and his death, four people submitted qualifying papers for that supervisor's race. The qualifying deadline is today at 5:00 p.m. The primary is in August. The general election is in November.