Fulton Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk was obligated to sentence former East Point Police Department Sgt. Marcus Eberhart to life after he was convicted Friday of murdering Gregory Towns in April 2014. But the judge had latitude in deciding the punishment for former police Cpl. Howard Weems, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and violation of an oath by a public officer.
Newkirk said once Weems has completed his 18-month prison term, he must spend 3 1/2 years on probation during which time he must speak to at least 10 police agencies about the dangers of using a shock device like a Taser. Weems does not have to begin his prison sentence until Jan. 3, after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Weems was sentenced under the Georgia First Offender Act so he will no longer be a convicted felon if he successfully finishes his prison and probation sentence.