WASHINGTON COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - WASHINGTON COUNTY GA, (WFXG) - A judge on Monday granted a motion to quash an indictment against three former Washington County Sheriff deputies, Michael Howell, Henry Copeland and Rhett Scott. The three are accused of tasing Eruie Martin to death last summer on Deepstep Road.
Superior Court Senior Judge H. Gibbs Flanders Jr. dismissed the indictment because a court reporter was not in the grand jury room to transcribe testimony presented in December. According to Georgia law, a court reporter must be present. That same order also allows prosecutors to take up the case again to a different grand jury.
Shawn Merzlak, attorney for defendant Howell, tells FOX 54 "We are thankful for the judge's careful consideration of the law in this matter and firmly believe he made the correct decision in granting our motion to dismiss the indictments."
All three men were granted and posted bond on January 2, 2018.
No word yet from the District Attorney's office on what their plans are moving forward.
UPDATE: The Defense for Howell, Copeland and Scott entered a motion in court Thursday to quash the indictment against the former deputies. The judge says he will make a decision on the motion soon, but did not set a timetable.
If the motion is accepted, the case will go back before a grand jury to consider indicting the three men again.
Three Former Washington County Deputies are back in court Thursday. They're accused of tasing Eurie Martin to death back in July.
All three former are back in court for a motion hearing and a judge will decide if the indictment stands or the case will have to go back before the grand jury. Michael Howell, Henry Copeland and Rhett Scott are facing a long list of charges that include felony murder, false imprisonment and aggravated assault. All three were granted a $50,000 bond back in January.
According to cell phone footage, the three former deputies were responding to a suspicious person's call and came across Eurie Martin, who was walking on Deep Step Road. The GBI says they got into a scuffle with Martin.
Attorneys for both the Martin Family and two of the deputies say their perspective sides both have a strong case.
Attorney Francys Johnson says, "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."
Attorney Pierce Blitch says, "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."