Accused murderer waives arraignment, trial set for Sept. 9

Superior Court Judge Scott Minter, left, listens to Public Defender Natalie Glaser, center, and District Attorney Bert Poston during Monday's arraignment for Michael Brandon Townsend. Townsend was indicted for murder in the deaths of two women he shared a home with on Tanglewood Drive in north Whitfield County.

DALTON, Ga. — The man accused of murdering two women in the home he shared with them in north Whitfield County is scheduled for trial in September. 

In Judge Scott Minter’s courtroom on Monday, both District Attorney Bert Poston and Public Defender Natalie Glaser agreed to place the case against Michael Brandon Townsend on the trial calendar for Aug. 26 with jury selection to begin on Sept. 9. 

Townsend, 40, faces four counts of murder, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated battery in the deaths of Krystal Spainhour, 44, and her mother Judy Potts, 72. The three lived in the home at 234 Tanglewood Drive N.E., off of Cleveland Highway. 

Townsend was scheduled to be in court Monday for an arraignment, but Glaser entered a waiver of arraignment Townsend signed and entered a not guilty plea. Poston also said since a grand jury had recently re-indicted the case, the state would prosecute the indictment which had additional charges. Townsend had been originally indicted on two counts of murder with no additional charges. 

Poston said the state was ready for the July trial calendar, but Glaser said the defense wouldn’t be ready for trial at that point. Also, Minter had a scheduling conflict so the trial was pushed back to September. 

The new calendar for the case comes after Poston said last month that prosecutors and the defense had failed to reach a plea deal in the case. 

Townsend called 911 on Jan. 10 and told an operator, “I just lost my mind…” He told the operator he had choked both women. 

According to the latest indictment, Townsend caused the deaths of Spainhour and Potts each “by strangling her, striking and stomping her repeatedly in the face and upper torso …” In the assault indictments, Townsend is accused of using “his hand on and applied pressure to her throat …” on both women. 

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 ...”

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