State Supreme Court rules deputies who killed man with taser in 2017 must stand trial

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ga. — Attorneys for the man tased and killed during an encounter with Washington County sheriff’s deputies in 2017 said a Supreme Court ruling sets a new precedent.

After a judge initially granted the deputies immunity, the state Supreme Court ruled the deputies would have to stand trial in the death of Eurie Lee Martin.

“My brother, he was killed, he was murdered for nothing,” said Martin’s sister, Helen Gilbert.

According to court documents, Martin, 58, was walking down the street in 2017 when he was stopped by three deputies.

“I see a man trying to walk home to his family, then I see officers trying to impose their will on him and prevent his freedom of movement. They were unlawful in trying to stop him,” said family attorney, Mawuli Davis.

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Witnesses testified that at the time of the encounter, Martin never attacked the deputies and walked away several times.

Defense attorneys argued that Martin fought with the deputies and the deputies tased him.

Martin died at the scene.

The Washington County sheriff ultimately fired the three deputies for violation of department policies.

Initially, a judge granted the deputies immunity, but on Nov. 2, the state Supreme Court ruled the deputies would face charges in the case.

“You really cannot be targeted while walking while Black,” Davis said.

The deputies face a number of charges, including felony murder. The trial is expected to begin the spring of 2021.

“We’re going to continue to fight for justice for my brother, no matter how long it takes,” said Gilbert.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to the attorneys for the deputies, but did not receive a response.