Accused murderer faces more charges


A Whitfield County grand jury has indicted a Dalton man who is charged with murder on additional counts after the man and the district attorney were unable to reach a plea deal.

Michael Brandon Townsend, 40, is scheduled for arraignment on Monday. He now faces four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated battery for the deaths of two women he lived with at 234 Tanglewood Drive N.E.

Last month, District Attorney Bert Poston told a judge that Townsend and the prosecution had not been able to reach a plea deal. At that time Townsend faced two counts of murder.

Townsend is accused of the deaths of Krystal Spainhour, 44, and Judy Potts, 72. Spainhour was Potts' daughter, according to investigators.

The new indictments say Townsend caused the deaths of Spainhour and Potts each "by strangling her, striking and stomping her repeatedly in the face and upper torso ..."

For the aggravated assault counts, the indictments say Townsend assaulted Spainhour and Potts with "his hand, which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation, when he placed his hand on and applied pressure to her throat ..."

The aggravated battery indictments say with respect to Spainhour, Townsend "caused bodily harm ... by seriously disfiguring her body when he punched and stomped on her face and upper torso and cut her throat ..." With respect to Potts, he "caused bodily harm ... by seriously disfiguring her body when he punched and stomped on her face and upper torso, cut her throat, and stabbed her in the throat and torso ..."

Townsend called 911 on Jan. 10 and told an operator, "I just lost my mind ..." He told the operator he had choked the women. Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in a press release that each female "had sustained blunt force trauma injuries to their face and suspected stabs/cut wounds to their body."

"Honestly, I can't even remember what she said," Townsend said when a 911 operator called him back after the original call. "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."

Townsend did not say which of the women "triggered" him.

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 said he lived in the house with the women but was not involved in a relationship with either. He said he had worked previously with Spainhour.

"But they are like my family," he said.

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