Former Washington County deputies indicted by grand jury in taser death

(L-R: Deputies Rhett Scott and Michael Howell, Sergeant Lee Copeland)
(L-R: Deputies Rhett Scott and Michael Howell, Sergeant Lee Copeland)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Three Washington County deputies involved in tasing death of a black man have been indicted by a grand jury.

The three former officers, Michael Howell, Rhett Scott and Henry Copeland, have their first court appearance scheduled today in Emmanuel County.

Right now, the three former deputies face murder charges for the death of Eurie Martin. He died after being tased while in custody.

Cell phone video shows part of the incident.

Here’s the narrative laid out by investigators. In July of this year, they say Martin was walking from his home in Milledgeville to his family’s home in Sandersville.

The officers got a call for a suspicious person, which is what brought them to Martin.

Investigators say the officers tased him as part of their arrest and he died shortly afterwards.

Washington County Sheriff Thomas Smith says he immediately called the GBI to investigate because he doesn’t tolerate that behavior in his department.

Sheriff Smith fired all three deputies after the investigation.

The District Attorney Hayward Altman said there was no evidence that Martin, the victim, broke any laws.

That’s why the D.A. charged the three former deputies, landing them in court today.

During our previous coverage of this story, the lawyers for the Martin family told NewsChannel 6 that a civil investigation is in progress, so a civil lawsuit could also come in the future.

 

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