Former deputy indicted, but charges don't satisfy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Former deputy indicted, but charges don't satisfy

Leesburg-- A grand jury says there is enough evidence to put a former Lee County sheriff's deputy on trial for killing a teenager. Tuesday, Captain Donnie Spillers was indicted for killing Wesley Beaver in February, but there has been controversy about the charges Donnie Spillers is facing.

Friends and family of Wesley Beaver stood outside Lee County's courthouse, while inside, the grand jury listened to the facts surrounding his death. "We just love Wesley, and it could have been anybody, not just our grandson," said Wesley's Grandfather Roger Beaver.

They were here to take a stand and hope for harsher charges against Captain Donnie Spillers. "He over re-acted and I just think, he knew Wesley, so he knew who he was shooting when he shot him, " said Roger Beaver.

The charges didn't change. Jurors gave prosecutors what they asked for. "For the offense of misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter, giving false statements to a law enforcement officer, tampering with evidence and violating the oath of a public officer," said District Attorney Cecilia Cooper.

The family wanted Spillers charged with murder, but prosecutors say when Wesley was shot to death on the side of a Lee County highway, it wasn't murder. "Because in order to indict him for the offense of felony murder, you would have to prove that this was a pre-meditated act, there is no evidence it was pre-meditated," said the D. A.

The family's attorney says they weren't surprised with the indictiment. And they're planning to file a wrongful death suit within two weeks. "We'll probably ask for punitive damages from Mr. Spillers himself, we'll probably sue the sheriff's office and Mr. Breeden as well and probably the state of Georgia," said beaver family attorney T. Gamble.

As far as the case is concerned, the district attorney says investigators have looked at every piece of evidence. "We've investigated every other avenue. Every other rumor that we've heard. None of it's true," said Cooper.

What is true is that Beaver's family is still struggling with his death, and probably will for a long time. "It's a feeling you can't describe. When you look at Wesley's picture and know he's not never going to be back with us. It's just... you can't describe it unless you've been there," Beaver said.

And just like these supporters are here now, they'll be here again when this case goes to trial. Spillers could be arraigned as early as May 5, but Lee County only has two trial terms a year.

If convicted of all four charges, Donnie Spillers faces a maximum 12 years in prison. He was fired from his position with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

feedback: news@walb.com