Tag: Tom Sponseller

Sponseller Questions – Updated

As I wrote yesterday, the death of Tom Sponseller has left more questions than answers.

I spent part of today speaking with a nationally certified crime scene investigator who spoke on conditions of anonymity. The investigator has worked on cases in three states and on military cases.

The investigator was totally unfamiliar with the Sponseller case. After explaining the details as attributed to the Richland County Coroner’s office – gunshot residue tests, firearm and ballistic results and handwriting analysis led to a conclusion of probable suicide, the following observations were elicited.

As a general rule, gunshot residue tests are not done after a period of six hours has elapsed from the time of death because the results are highly suspect by that time.

Questions About Sponseller Death Continue

FITS News today reported it is uncovering facts that make the finding of “apparent suicide” in the death of South Carolina Hospitality Association CEO Tom Sponseller questionable.

The story says the gunshot wound that killed Sponseller was “painstakingly made to appear self-inflicted.” It goes on to say that sources close to the Sponseller family vigorously dispute that Sponseller suffered from a “major gambling habit” and that there was a prior suicide attempt with a single car accident in 2011.

Sponseller was well known to many business owners in Horry County through hospitality association ties. One business owner has told Grand Strand Daily that attempting to call Sponseller’s car accident a suicide attempt was “ridiculous.”

Sponseller Discovery – Questions, No Answers

The discovery of SC Hospitality Association CEO Tom Sponseller’s body yesterday left many who knew him in Horry County absolutely devastated by the news, but also asking questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.

Horry County Council member Gary Loftus, a longtime friend and associate of Sponseller in tourism industry circles, gave a moving tribute to his friend as the county council adjourned their meeting Tuesday night in Sponseller’s memory.

Other local area tourism leaders spoke all day of the kind, decent, loving family man and friend who they had rubbed elbows with many times through the years as Sponseller led the state’s tourism industry interests.