A Fulton county judge has sentenced to prison two former East Point Police officers for the 2014 death of Gregory Towns, 24, who was repeatedly tased by the men while handcuffed.
Commanding officer Sergeant Marcus Eberhart was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years on Wednesday, Dec. 21, for felony murder and aggravated assault. His partner, Corporal Howard Weems, was sentenced to five years in prison, with 18 months to serve for involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. Weems was sentenced under first-offender status, meaning that his felony charges could be dropped.
However, the sentencing does not stop the pain of Towns’ family. His girlfriend, Aisel Smith, told WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News, that she can’t rely on the justice system anymore and that she regrets calling police that night.
“Moving forward, I will no longer put my faith in police officers, the courts, anything like that,” Smith said.
In April of 2014, Eberhart and Weems responded to a domestic-disturbance call at Smith’s residence, where they found Towns outside and confronted him about allegedly assaulting Smith. Towns ran, stumbled and was apprehended when he stopped to catch his breath. The officers cuffed Towns and proceeded to tase him 14 times, claiming he was resisting and not complying with their orders.
In their police reports, the officers stated they only used their tasers a total of six times to subdue Towns, including one time while he was wet and sitting in a creek. However, the logs on the actual tasers showed they were discharged many more times than that, and by the time the paramedics arrived, Towns was unresponsive and did not have a pulse.
In an exclusive with Channel 2 Action News, Weems expressed great sorrow for his role and offered Towns’ family his deepest, sincere apologies.
“I’m sorry that this incident happened,” Weems said. “I’m sorry for the Towns family. I’m sorry there is nothing I’ll ever be able to say that will allow them to have forgiveness for me or that would change their mind and their belief.”
Sentencing comes nearly two years after Towns’ family settled a civil suit for $1 million.