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Three former deputies face murder charges in Taser death case

Three former deputies in central Georgia have been indicted on murder charges in connection with the Taser-related de...

Posted: Dec. 20, 2017 11:08 PM
Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 1:20 PM

Three former deputies in central Georgia have been indicted on murder charges in connection with the Taser-related death of a man earlier this year, the Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office said.

A 58-year-old man, who was in the deputies' custody in July, died after he was stunned with a Taser, authorities have said.

The three former deputies -- Henry Lee Copeland, Michael Howell and Rhett Scott -- also face charges of felony involuntary manslaughter, false imprisonment, aggravated assault and reckless conduct, according to online jail records.

An attorney for Copeland and Scott spoke to reporters after the defendants had the charges explained to them at their initial appearance in court on Wednesday.

"The facts and law do not support the charges in this case," Pierce Blitch said, according to CNN affiliate WGXA.

CNN attempted to reach Blitch but was unsuccessful. It was unclear to CNN whether Howell has an attorney.

On July 7, the three Washington County deputies were dispatched to a suspicious person call in the town of Deep Step, northeast of Macon.

They made contact with Eurie Lee Martin, 58, of Milledgeville, and there was an altercation, said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the incident.

Deputies deployed a Taser before handcuffing Martin, the GBI said in a July statement.

Shortly after his arrest, Martin appeared to be in respiratory distress, was treated by paramedics but died at the scene, the GBI said.

The three deputies were fired in October, CNN affiliate WMGT of Macon reported.

CNN reached out to a lawyer for the Martin family but didn't get a response.

Attorney Francys Johnson told WGXA: "It is absolutely indefensible what happened to Eurie Martin. ... I will tell you this, the evidence is overwhelming."

Eurie Lee Martin died in July

Three deputies who arrested him were indicted this week

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