Deputy's attorney says knife issue is wrong - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deputy's attorney says knife issue is wrong

Former Deputy Donnie Spillers Former Deputy Donnie Spillers
Spillers' Attorney, Patrick Eidson Spillers' Attorney, Patrick Eidson

Leesburg-- The case surrounding the death of 17-year-old Wesley Beaver may go before a grand jury in Lee County in April. Donnie Spillers was arrested less than two weeks ago.

Investigators say he shot Beaver then planted a knife in the teenager's truck, but his attorney tells us that's not true.

It's not unusual to see roadside memorials along highways. But one in Lee County symbolizes a tragic story in the Lee County Community. The cross and flowers are here because this is the place off Highway 19 that Wesley Beaver was fatally shot.

Former Deputy Donnie Spillers' bond hearing was the first of many court appearances he may make in the months ahead. The former deputy is out of jail and struggling with the death of Wesley Beaver, the teenager he shot during a call on February 14th.

"Donnie is particularly distraught over this and he's certainly distraught over the personal allegations made against him with his interaction with this fleeing suspect," Spillers' Attorney, Patrick Eidson.

Part of those allegations are that Spillers planted a knife in Weaver's truck to make him appear armed. Eidson says it's still early in his investigation, but Spillers didn't tamper with evidence. "But I will say that he did not plant the knife. The knife was his, and he indicated at the scene the knife was his to everyone there. So I think that's a discrepancy that will have to be corrected."

Eidson wouldn't give us any more specifics on why Spillers had the knife out at the scene, but he did talk about how important law enforcement is to the veteran officer. "Donnie Spillers is a good man. He is a person that grew up like many kids wanting to be either a fireman or a police officer or a sheriff's deputy."

Now an 18-year career could be over forever. "There are no winners involved in this type of case. It's just a tragedy. But it's not a tragedy that deserves to have an end to someone's career wrongfully." But it will be up to the people in Lee County to make the final decision.

Eidson said that he's made a request for certain information. Part of that will be a toxicology report to see if drugs or alcohol were involved in this case.

Right now, Eidson says Spillers is spending time with his family and that he has a lot of support from friends in the community.

Spillers is out of jail on a $12,000 bond. His charges are involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence,giving false statements, and violation of oath of office.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com