Ex-fiancee says Curry threatened to kill her with staple gun - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Ex-fiancee says Curry threatened to kill her with staple gun

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Prosecutors continue to try to poke hole's in the accused bush ax killer's account of what happened the day his family was murdered.

Michael Curry, 53, is accused of killing his pregnant wife and the couple's two young children, Erica and Ryan, with a bush ax in their Columbus home in August of 1985. He was not charged with the crimes until 2009. The case was reopened in 2008.

The trial began Monday in Muscogee County Superior Court. Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren was the first witness to take the stand. He was a homicide detective at the time and responded to the unknown call at the Curry's home on Rockhurst Drive off Macon Road.

On Thursday, Boren told the jury about the statements he says Michael Curry made to detectives the night of the murders when he was interrogated at police headquarters.

He says "Mike" Curry was standoffish, calm, quiet and "nice" as he was asked questions from 9 PM- 11 PM. Boren says Curry started falling asleep during the interview and had no response when Boren asked him why someone would want to do this to your family, how long Curry thought his family was dead when he found them or if he had any marital problems. Boren told the court he thought Curry's actions were "unusual at such a critical time."

On August 29th, 1985, Curry says he left work at the Bradley Center where he was a maintenance supervisor from 9:40 AM to 1:10 PM, stopping at different stores to shop for a fan. Boren says a KMart receipt shows he bought the fan at 12:55 PM that day.

At 5:30, he went home and found his wife and kids dead and the bush ax he bought to do yard work was on the floor.

Boren says Curry told him several different versions of what he did when he found the bodies, changing what door he ran out and at one point saying he went home in the morning.

Curry admitted to drinking occasionally and doing drugs in the past (including heroine, PCP, cocaine, speed and marijuana) but after going to rehab in 1979, he said he had only smoked marijuana. He also told Boren had "flashbacks," including one where he envisioned someone in the car with him when he was driving.

Curry tested negative for drugs and alcohol the night of the killings, according to Boren.

When asked about scratches on his arms, Curry told police he had been moving boxes at work and thought he may have gotten into an altercation with officers at the crime scene who were trying to subdue him.

Boren says Curry told him at some point, he knelt beside the bodies of his wife and daughter when he found them but no blood was found on his clothes.

Curry did not mention that he was having an affair with a female coworker when he was interrogated.

Boren says the weekend before the murders, Curry and his mistress decided to spend a night at a hotel.

Curry called his wife and told her he went out drinking with his buddies and they decided to pitch in on a room. His lover's husband showed up at the hotel and asked her to come home with him but she refused and said she was spending the night with Curry.

She told her husband to go home and she'd seem him the next day. Boren says the couple separated after that but later got back together. He says the husband had an alibi for the day of the murders.

Curry's lover, Pam Burt, told officers Michael loved his wife and kids and said that if his marriage ever ended in a divorce, he'd love to get custody of the children.

Boren and the crime scene technician, a retired sergeant, eluded to the fact that the crime scene was staged, referring to a broken glass pane and overturned purse.

Curry's ex-fiancee, Lisa Naumann, also took the stand, without the jury present.

Naumann got engaged to Michael Curry in 1987, only two years after his pregnant wife and kids were found murdered with an ax.

She she felt sorry for him and he threatened to kill himself several times.

But her feelings changed the day she says he attacked her in the middle of a calm conversation they were having.

"He pulled me over this way and put a staple gun to the right side of my head and said I'm going to kill you. I just didn't quite understand it and then I looked into his eyes and saw the seriousness of it and I believed he probably was going to kill me. I was just waiting for what minute is he going to take my life," she said.

She said she thought Curry was going to beat her with the rectangular tool.

From that day on, Naumann says she was afraid of Curry and the relationship later ended.

Her testimony, however, won't be admissible in his murder trial because of a procedural issue.

Dr. Keith Lehman, GBI Medical Examiner and forensic pathologist, testified that it's possible the Curry family was killed before 12:30 PM, which is around the time when Ann Curry reportedly left her parent's house with the kids to return home.

At the time, a rectal thermometer was used to get the victim's temperatures but Lehman says the method was inadequate, considering the house was more then 90 degrees that day.

The KMart cashier who checked Curry out for the fan at 12:55 PM says he was sweating profusely in the air conditioned store.

Michael Curry's attorney said authorities should not expect him to remember every single detail about the day of the murders after finding the bloody bodies of his loved ones.

The trial continues Friday at the Columbus Government Center.

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