Jury deliberations pending in case against Washington County MPs

SANDERSVILLE, Georgia – After two full days of deliberations, jurors in the trial of three former Georgia sheriff’s deputies accused of murdering a man by electrocuting him with stun guns have returned home without making a decision.

Earlier Monday, jurors sent a note to Senior Judge H. Gibbs Flanders Jr. advising him that they were deadlocked after reviewing all the evidence.

They resumed their deliberations after Flanders called them into the courtroom and read them a special indictment urging them to avoid a suspended jury and an overturned trial. Known as the Allen Charge, the request urges the jury to reach consensus and asks members of the minority to reconsider their position.

“Your duty is to decide on the questions that have been put to you, if you can do so conscientiously,” said Flanders.

During the deliberation, the jury asked to examine several sequences of the recordings of the on-board camera of the deputies and of the video of the witnesses. It is scheduled to resume Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Earlier:The prosecutor puts an end to the case against former officers accused of having killed a man by piles.

Prosecutors argued at trial that Henry Lee Copeland, Michael Howell and Rhett Scott had no reason to detain Eurie Martin, 58, in 2017. The defendants, all white, said the black man was illegally walking on a road with no sidewalks in the tiny town of Deepstep.

Martin had a history of schizophrenia. He was walking 30 miles to see relatives on a hot summer day when someone he asked for water called 911.

The defense argued that some of the charges against the former sheriff’s deputies are wrong because stun guns are not lethal weapons. Evidence showed that MPs fired electric weapons 15 times in five minutes as they struggled to put Martin in handcuffs.

Sea Stachura of The Augusta Chronicle contributed to this report.


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