SANDERSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Three former Washington County Sheriff’s deputies, who are indicted on felony murder charges for the stun-gun death of a man, are claiming the incident was ‘self-defense.’
Michael Howell, Henry Copeland, and Rhett Scott appeared in court Wednesday morning for an immunity hearing.
District Attorney Hayward Altman says the charges stem from July 2017 when the now-former deputies tased 58-year old Eurie Martin. He subsequently died. The district attorney says the confrontation with deputies happened when Martin asked a stranger for water after walking dozens of miles.
Altman says Howell, Copeland, and Scott (who are Caucasian) say Martin (who is African-American) was resisting them, which lead to the tasing.
Wednesday morning, the former sheriff deputies’ lawyers submitted evidence, videos, and witnesses to try and prove the incident was in self defense.
The judge is expected to come to a conclusion October 31st, 2019 on if it was self defense. If the judge rules it wasn’t, the trial is expected to begin December 9th.
The incident was recorded on cellphone video.