Taser murder trial begins for former East Point officers

Jury selection for the trial of two former East Point police officers charged with murder in the death of a handcuffed man is set to begin Monday.

Former police Cpl. Howard Weems and former Sgt. Marcus Eberhart are charged with one count each of felony murder, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, and three counts of violation of oath by a public officer, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Dontaye Carter said in a news release Thursday.

According to a lawsuit his family filed a year ago, Gregory Lewis Towns Jr. was trying to catch his breath after a chase of less than a mile when Weems and Eberhart activated their Tasers a combined 13 times in an effort to get the 281-pound man to stand.

Towns, 24, was already detained and handcuffed behind his back when Eberhart and Weems arrived on the scene to supervise the arrest, Carter said.

Both officers were placed on administrative leave following the incident. Eberhart resigned from the department on July 9, 2014. Weems was terminated on July 25 of that year.

If convicted, the men could face a sentence of life in prison.

MORE: Atlanta attorney takes center stage in high-profile police shootings