Two former East Point officers got guilty verdicts in the tasering death of a handcuffed man (Credit: Channel 2 Action News).

Former East Point officer found guilty in man’s murder

It took two years, but Gregory Lewis Towns Jr.’s family finally saw a conviction following his April 2014 death. 

Jurors only took about 30 minutes to convict former East Point police Sgt. Marcus Eberhart in his murder, according to Channel 2 Action News. Co-defendant former East Point Cpl. Howard Weems was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. 

The conviction comes more than a year after the two officers were charged in the deadly tasering incident. 

Officers were called to Towns’ girlfriends home April 11, 2014 about a domestic incident. 

The 24-year-old then ran and led police on a chase before sitting down to catch his breath, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Officers caught up to Towns, who begged them 10 times to let him rest before arresting him. 

Gregory Lewis Towns Jr. (Family Photo)

But officers arrested, handcuffed and tasered Towns’ 281-pound frame 14 times for 30 minutes by the officers before he died. 

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Towns’ death was a homicide due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease complicated by the use of a Taser.

During the GBI’s investigation, officers said Eberhart and Weems used the Taser to get Towns to stand up and walk. 

Then-police Chief Woodrow Blue fired Weems after the incident, while Eberhart resigned in lieu of termination after the GBI released a report on Towns’ death. In August 2014, Blue resigned for personal reasons.

Friday’s conviction also follows a lawsuit settled in November 2014 by Town’s family and the City of East Point. The money from the suit was awarded to Towns’ then 7-month-old son.  The attorney in the case did not say how much the family received, but said the family was getting the maximum amount allowed by the city’s insurance carrier. 

City officials confirmed their maximum payout was $1 million at the time, but declined to comment any further. 

In addition to Murder, Eberhart was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, reckless conduct and three counts violation of oath by a public officer. The jury also convicted Weems of reckless conduct and three counts violation of an oath by a public officer.

Defense attorneys told Channel 2 Action News they intend to appeal the convictions. Eberhart was immediately taken to jail following the guilty verdict. Weems was released. 

The two will be sentenced Wednesday, Channel 2 reported. Eberhart faces life in prison. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Related Stories