Two Former Police Officers Found Guilty For The Murder Of Handcuffed Man

On August 18, 2015, East Point, Georgia police officers Cpl. Howard Weems and Sgt. Marcus Eberhart were indicted on charges related to the April 11, 2014 death of 24-year old Gregory Towns.  Eberhart resigned and Weems was terminated after the incident.  Their trial began on December 5, 2016.

howard-weems-marcus-eberhart_20161206154840990_6765271_ver1-0_640_360On April 11, 2014, Weems and Eberhart responded to a domestic violence call in the Atlanta suburb.  Another officer was also present. Gregory Towns ran and was apprehended.  According to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, after apprehending Gregory,the officers handcuffed him.  They demanded him to stand and walk to a waiting patrol car.  Gregory indicated that he was out of breath and could not stand.  Both officers used their tasers on Gregory, and even after attempting to walk but collapsing, the officers continued to tase him.

Gregory was tased 13-14 times.

gregory-towns

Gregory Towns

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office gave the cause of death as hypertensive cardiovascular disease exacerbated by physical exertion and electrical stimulation.

At their trial, expert witnesses for the defense contended that Gregory was in ill health from an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.  That did not impress the jury.

On December 14, 2016, the jury deliberated for about 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdicts.

Eberthart was convicted of felony murder, aggravated assault, reckless conduct, and violation of oath of office.  Eberhart faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Weems was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

Gregory’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in August 2014.  Attorney Chris Stewart who represents the family stated;

 “He was handcuffed behind his back when this happened, he didn’t have a weapon, he wasn’t the fighting the officers. He was tasered because he was tired and not getting up fast enough. It’s not just against the law, it’s inhumane. You don’t use a Taser like a cattle prod.”

The city settled the lawsuit for a million dollars.

 

Posted on 12/17/2016, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on studiotj and commented:
    This is one of those stories that I just had to pass on to other readers. This year 2016 has been the year of probably more police shootings than I’ve ever seen. Perhaps…….this is why.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Roach,
      Thanks for the reblog, dear friend, and the comment. It’s amazing that the jury in this case convicted without dash or body cam, but the juries in Tensing’s and Slager’s cases could not reach a conclusion with video broken down frame by frame by experts.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I was going to say the exact same thing. AMAZING!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Roach,
          It is said that great minds think alike. 🙂

          Liked by 3 people

          • ….and you are a great mind!!! Honored to be mentioned in the same company.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Roach,
              I don’t know what I did to deserve your kind words, but I do receive them as a blessing. Hope you’re having a great weekend. I’m getting ready to make homemade chili and settle down for the evening in this 4 degree weather. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s okay that you don’t know…. I know (lol) I love cold weather but……………..not that cold. Currently 61 degrees here. 30s and 20s are cold enough for me (but only for a short period of time). CHRISTmas is on the horizon…….ENJOY!!!

              Liked by 1 person

            • Roach,
              And there is plenty of snow in my section of the woods. LOL! Actually, I love living where the seasons change, and cold doesn’t bother me as much as it being cold with snow. Some people shouldn’t drive in snow. Which means I stay inside more when there is snow in order to avoid them.

              Snowman

              Liked by 3 people

            • Xena I’m one of those people who definitely don’t need to drive in the snow. In the same year, I totaled both a Toyota Forerunner and a Mercedes in the snow and ice. Lesson learned!!! I love cold weather. I just don’t like to be cold…. I think you understand. In other news… lol I met Congressman John Lewis recently and I’m definitely going to do a piece on him soon. He’s one of the greats who is so humble.

              Liked by 3 people

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    Natasha Mckenna was naked and cuffed in a retraining chair for transport to another jail, and died because a taser was used four times on her because they wanted to spread her legs open and put her ankles (already cuffed) in the chair’s restraint. There were no charges against the officer who tased her to death.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is so sad. They really did treat her less than one would an animal. My God. I’m betting dollars to doughnuts the officer who killed her is white.

      Liked by 1 person

    • “You promised you wouldn’t kill me. I didn’t do anything”

      Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/natasha-mckennas-death-anniversary-op-ed#ixzz4T9zunhMu

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yahtzee,
      One of the problems with law enforcement reform is that each jurisdiction has its own rules and policies. The District or State’s Attorneys can decide on cases to prosecute based on cronyism, patronage, nepotism, or biases. If there are charges and trials, juries differ. When all parties involved are the same race, juries might decide verdicts based on evidence and the law without bias. When race is involved, and as we have seen, juries hang.

      Natasha was killed in Virginia. Keep in mind that is the state that arrested the Loving couple for marrying outside of their race. That led to a landmark decision in 1967 — 1967. That is during our generation.

      There is yet another case of tasing unto death in Georgia. The attorney representing the family of the victim, Chase Sherman, is the same attorney who represents Gregory’s family. Chase was killed in November 2015. The most current news I found is in May 2016, and the family said they were still seeking justice. No charges have been brought against the officers, who have yet to be named. It’s a different county in Georgia than the county were Gregory was killed, but still the same state with the same state laws. A significant difference between the two cases is that the officers who tased Gregory to death are Black, and the officers who tased Chase to death are White.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How does anyone do this to another human being?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mindyme,
          Your question, “How does anyone do this to another human being?”

          There is a certain characteristic in some folks that causes them to want control over others. Some are employed in positions that give them that authority. Others do not qualify for such positions, so try to get close to others who they feel have something they want to take-over and/or control.

          The key word is “control” and no matter the circumstances or venue, those who abuse it assume that others have no ability to protect themselves or fight-back. Isolation of those they seek to control is to their advantage.

          It’s a bad nature of mankind and sadly, covers every spectrum of society.

          Liked by 1 person

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Heartbreaking

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “He was handcuffed behind his back when this happened, he didn’t have a weapon, he wasn’t the fighting the officers. He was tasered because he was tired and not getting up fast enough. It’s not just against the law, it’s inhumane. You don’t use a Taser like a cattle prod.”

    Sick, so sick.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There is no excuse for two cops killing a black man in this manner. Thank you for sharing this. Black lives do indeed matter. Hugs, Barbara

    Like

  5. Dear Xena and friends,

    What is so depressing is that any hope of police interactions with minority folks getting better with President-elect DT is negligible..

    This is a time when added vigilance is needed.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

  6. I am glad you posted this. It goes to show that police officers that abuse their power are not restricted to just white officers vs the underprivileged, but officers against the world. I am sure not all are bad, but we tend to judge from the negative more than the positive.

    Like

    • cfbostonbrian,
      The negative is what causes distrust. Distrust can also cause fear, and fear causes flight or fight. It’s a vicious circle.

      Like

  7. SENTENCING

    Eberhart has been sentenced to life with the possibility of parole after 30 years. He was sentenced to 5 years for violation of oath of office to run concurrent.

    Howard Weems, found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and several other lesser charges. was sentenced to 5 years in prison, with 18 months to serve on the involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges. He is sentenced under first-offender status, so pending the completion of his sentence which includes probation, the felony status could be dropped.

    During his probation, he will have to speak to law enforcement recruits about the dangers of extensive force.

    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/south-fulton-county/former-east-point-officer-sentenced-to-life-in-prison-for-mans-taser-murder/477823504

    Like

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