published Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Conviction in ax slayings upheld by top state court in Georgia

The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction of a man found guilty of killing his family with an ax in 1985.

Michael Curry, who lived in Dalton, Ga., for 10 years before he was indicted, was convicted in 2011 in the death of his 24-year-old pregnant wife, Ann; their 4-year-old daughter, Erika; and their 20-month-old son, Ryan. The killings occurred in Columbus, Ga.

For 24 years there were no arrests, but the case was reopened in 2007, and two years later Curry was arrested in Dalton. He had been working for the Dalton Public Schools since 1999 in the maintenance department.

After a jury found Curry guilty, he appealed on the grounds that his case was built on circumstantial evidence that didn't prove his guilt, according to a state Supreme Court summary on the case.

But justices disagreed. In Monday's decision, Justice P. Harris Hines wrote that the "evidence authorized the jury to find Curry guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes for which he was convicted."

In August 1985, Columbus police found Ann Curry and their children dead with cuts to their faces and bodies A bloody ax was found in the living room. A medical exam showed Ryan and Erika died of skull fractures and Ann died of massive blood loss.

Even though Curry changed his story several times and several months later admitted he was having an affair with a co-worker, police didn't arrest him. The case was reopened in 2007 when the Columbus Police Department changed the way it handled cold cases.

In 2009, Curry was indicted on three counts of malice murder, three counts of felony murder, two counts of feticide and three counts of aggravated assault.

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