DALTON, Ga. — "I have hit him in the face and if he keeps it up I might do it again, me and my daughter can't handle this no more," one of two women found dead early Thursday morning in Whitfield County had told a 911 operator two days before.
"We just need to be safe because he's coming to us like he's doing right now, hollering and screaming," a woman who identified herself as Judy Potts said of Michael Brandon Townsend, who is in the county jail charged with murder for the deaths of Potts, 72, and her daughter, Krystal Spainhour, 44. Their bodies were found at 234 Tanglewood Drive N.E. following two calls Thursday morning between Townsend and 911 around 3, the first by Townsend and the second when a 911 operator called him back.
A woman who identified herself as Spainhour made the call to 911 Tuesday afternoon at 4:11, saying, "I need the police." She mentions Townsend by name, calling him "a friend" in response to a question, and says, "He's arguing with me and my mom."
Asked if the man had been drinking or using drugs, she says, "Drinking."
The operator asks several times during the call if the mother and daughter can go into another room. The first time, Spainhour responds, "He's right here," and repeats it twice more, the latter time saying, "He's right here, I mean ..."
The operator asks early in the call if the man has hit anyone. Spainhour responds, "No, but he's been getting in our (sounds like the word 'faces')."
"Is that him yelling in the background?"
Potts eventually takes over the phone.
After Potts' comment about hitting the man, the operator asks, "So you did hit him?" but does not receive an answer as loud voices cam be heard.
Shortly thereafter, Potts appears to say, "Hurry!"
The operator then asks several questions trying to understand what's happening. Potts at one point says something that sounds like, "Well, we've got it calmed down," but the operator says, "No, ask her (the daughter) to come in there with you and close the door and stay away from him."
The operator then asks, "Can you get away from him?" and Potts responds, "No, we can't. The dog is 14 years old and got medical problems and she won't leave him."
At one point in response to a question, Potts says Spainhour is in the living room and Townsend is in the bathroom, adding, "We're trying to stay away from him."
Later, Potts reports that she doesn't know where Townsend is but "he's calmed down right now."
She is told police are on the way.
"If anything changes, call me back immediately," she is told by the operator.
Potts tells the operator Townsend went outside "waiting on y'all."
"Lock the door, don't let him back in," she is told.
Potts says, "I'm sorry."
The operator replies, "It's OK, call me if anything else changes."
Capt. Paul Woods with the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office said a deputy did respond to the Tuesday afternoon call but because no crime occurred there is not an incident report. A sheriff's office employee said Sheriff Scott Chitwood was not in the office late Friday afternoon.
Townsend called 911 shortly after 3 a.m. on Thursday from the same residence and told an operator, “I need to turn myself in.” Townsend told the operator he “just lost my mind” and "choked" two women he shared a home with. When deputies arrived, they found the dead bodies of Potts and Spainhour. Chitwood said in a release each female “had sustained blunt force trauma injuries to their face and suspected stabs/cut wounds to their body.”
Townsend told the operator one of the women had "triggered" him. He told the operator the killings had happened earlier.
“It’s been a couple, I’m not sure… It’s been a few hours,” Townsend said. “I’m unarmed and not irate. I lost my mind earlier.”
“Honestly, I can’t even remember what she said,” Townsend said. “I got out of the shower and she said something to me and I just, I just lost my mind. … I can’t remember what she said to me. … It triggered me. … I would never do anything like this ever.”
He did not say which of the women "triggered" him.
Townsend said he lived in the house with the women but was not involved in a relationship with either one. He said he had worked previously with Spainhour.
“No, ma’am,” Townsend said when asked if he was related to the victims. “But they are like my family.”
According to an incident report, deputies found Townsend outside of the house in the carport and he was handcuffed without incident. The deputies found blood on the kitchen floor and a woman lying on a couch with dried blood on her face and the other woman lying in a bed in the rear bedroom.
“I laid Judy in her bed ... Krystal is on the sofa in the living room,” Townsend told the 911 operator.
Townsend is also charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and felony probation violation. He was arrested in 2013 on a drug trafficking charge by the sheriff’s office. He pleaded guilty to a lesser count of possession with intent to sell and was sentenced in 2014 to 15 years on probation, according to the clerk of court’s office.