SPALDING COUNTY — Former Hampton police officer and current Spalding County Commissioner Gregory Ryan Bowlden and four other former officers indicted in the 2019 death of a 24-year-old man are set to appear Jan. 28 in Henry County Superior Court.
Other defendants include former Henry County police officers Robert Butera and Quinton Phillips, and former Hampton police officers Mason Lewis and Marcus Stroud.
A Henry County grand jury indicted each officer in November on charges of one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder and one count of aggravated assault. In addition, each officer is charged with one count of violation of oath of office.
All five defendants entered waivers of arraignments and pleaded not guilty to the charges in December, Henry County Assistant District Attorney Megan Matteuci said.
Each defendant has an attorney, and several motions have been filed in the case, Henry County court records showed on Friday.
Fernando Rodriguez died Sept. 20, 2019, of asphyxiation reportedly as a result of the officers holding him down on the ground while he was handcuffed and shackled and applying pressure to his body near the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo said at the time charges were filed.
Rodriguez, who lived in the Atlanta area, was leaving the Imagine Music Festival at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton when officers encountered him. In addition to reportedly holding his naked body down on the ground, the officers are said to have struck Rodriguez more than a dozen times with their Tasers.
Rodriguez was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
Bowlden and Lewis resigned from their positions with Henry County in August, and Stroud resigned in October 2019, Hampton City Manager Alex Cohilas said at the time the indictment was issued.
Bowlden is still serving on the county’s board of commissioners. He began his four-year term in January 2021.
He is represented by attorney Mazi Mazloom, Matteuci added.