WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. — Three former Georgia deputies turned themselves in Wednesday morning after being indicted on charges including felony murder in the death of 58-year old Eurie Martin, reports CBS affiliate WMAZ.
On Tuesday, a grand jury listened to hours of interviews from investigators and were presented with body camera video from the incident, in which at least one of the deputies used a stun gun on Martin. It took the grand jury just a few minutes to return charges against all three deputies, each of whom have been booked on two counts of felony murder, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment, aggravated assault, simple assault, and reckless conduct.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported in November that on a hot July evening, Martin had walked more than a dozen miles — amid a 20-mile trek he had taken several times before to visit relatives — when he stopped to ask a stranger for water. The stranger called 911, according to the newspaper.
Though Martin was never accused of a crime, the three responding deputies, Michael Howell, Henry Copeland, and Rhett Scott, surrounded Martin. They’ve since said what happened next was the result of an altercation.
A Taser was deployed, striking Martin. Cellphone video of the incident provided to WMAZ shows the man falling to the ground, his body appearing to convulse for several seconds. He can then be seen sitting up, before his back returns to the ground, his body once again convulsing.
“Mr. Martin, as far as we can establish, had done nothing wrong,” said Middle Judicial Circuit of Georgia District Attorney Hayward Altman during a press conference in October, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Altman hailed the grand jury’s decision in the case on Tuesday.
“The system is designed in the state of Georgia at this point in time as probably the best system in the country as far as handling these type of cases. It worked as far as what the grand jury made in determination today,” Altman said.
A lawyer representing Martin’s family, Francys Johnson, said they are pleased that the three men have been indicted, and trust that the justice system will run its course.
“The family of Eurie Martin always believed that something went terribly wrong on that faithful day. Today a grand jury of citizens here in Washington County decided that a crime had been committed,” says Johnson.
The deputies are being held in Washington County Jail. Bond has not been set and the deputies have not yet entered pleas in the case.