Indictment reveals new details in alleged double murder

Michael Brandon Townsend

DALTON, Ga. — The indictment of a man who called 911 on Jan. 10 and admitted to choking two women in the home they shared reveals new details about their cause of death and the brutality of the killings. 

Michael Brandon Townsend, 39, was indicted by a Whitfield County grand jury on two counts of murder for the deaths of Krystal Spainhour, 44, and Judy Potts, 72, at their home at 234 Tanglewood Drive N.E.

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

The indictment said Townsend caused the death of both women “by strangling her, striking and stomping her repeatedly in the face and by cutting her throat with a knife.”

Townsend is scheduled to be in Superior Court before Judge Scott Minter for arraignment on April 1. He is represented by Public Defender Natalie Glaser. Glaser was in court Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

“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. 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.”

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 one. He said he had worked previously with Spainhour.

“But they are like my family,” he said.

The women had talked with 911 two days earlier, with Spainhour telling an operator, “I need the police” and that Townsend was arguing with her and her mother.

When Potts got on the phone, she said, “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.”

“We just need to be safe because he’s coming to us like he’s doing right now, hollering and screaming,” she said.

Capt. Paul Woods with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy responded to that call but because no crime was deemed to have occurred no incident report was generated. The sheriff’s office has declined to comment further.

Woods said the incident two days before the alleged murders is part of the criminal case against Townsend and that District Attorney Bert Poston had asked the sheriff’s office not to release any more information.

“I’ve talked to Paul Woods ... and I consider that to be part of the murder investigation,” Poston said. “If there were a trial, that incident would be part of the evidence. I’ve instructed them not to release anything that would not normally be released on a pending case. I think you already have the 911 call from that incident so that’s probably all you’ll have until the case is resolved.”

Records of law enforcement or prosecutors in a pending investigation or prosecution of a criminal or “unlawful activity” do not have to be released under Georgia’s open records laws except for initial police arrest reports and initial incident reports. 

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