Three former Washington County deputies face murder charges

Three former Washington County deputies face murder charges

WASHINGTON COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Three former Washington County Deputies are in jail after being accused of tasing a man to death back in July. On December 12, they made their first appearance in court.

Former Washington County Deputies Michael Howell, Henry Copeland & Rhett Scott all in Emanuel County court facing a list of charges that include: felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, simple assault, and reckless conduct.

On July 7 the former Washington County Deputies were responding to a suspicious person call when they came across Eurie Martin walking down Deep Step Road. According to GBI and captured cell phone footage, they got into a scuffle with Martin as they tried to tase him. Shortly after Martin died at the scene. Now a grand jury indicted them meaning there is enough evidence to move forward with all charges and the three men will be spending the holidays in jail.

"This is not a day of celebration for anyone. Martin is still dead and there are three men who under indictment for felony murder. We intend to soberly prosecute this case and seek justice for Martin. "says Attorney Francys Johnson who represents the Martin family.

Copeland and Scott's attorney was hoping that there would be a bond set today but says when the time comes the evidence will speak for itself because there is information the public does not know. "I've seen not only videos but other evidence of this case and from my opinion and from what I've seen and from what my investigators have seen the facts in law does not support the charges in this case.", explains Attorney Pierce Blitch.

The Martin Family Attorney and Former Georgia State NAACP President, Francys Johnson disagrees. He thinks there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that suggest the deputies are at fault. He says he has seen failures across the nation with cases like these -- Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York City but he will fight for justice here in Georgia. "He should have never been stopped. He should never have been falsely imprisoned. He should have never been aggravatingly assaulted and he should not have died out on that highway."

Both attorneys agree that no matter what side a person supports, this is a sad case for both the citizens and law enforcement. Up next in this long process an arraignment is scheduled on January 2 and possibly a bond hearing.

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