Mothers paint different pictures of accused bush ax murderer

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Michael Curry says on the day his pregnant wife and kids were murdered with a bush ax in their Columbus home, he left work and spent three-and-a-half hours shopping for a fan.

The bush ax killings have become one of the most notorious cold cases in Columbus history. Curry was charged with the murders in 2009 after the case was reopened in 2008.

Prosecutors continue to try to undermine his alibi and they piece together the timeline of events leading up to the horrific attacks.

On that fateful August day in 1985, his wife stopped at her parent's house with the kids before they were killed. The crux of the case is when they left to go home because it shows whether or not Curry would have had enough time to bludgeon his family before he went back to work. He was gone from his job as a maintenance supervisor from 9:40 AM to 1:10 PM.

On the stand Friday, his mother-in-law, Bernice Johnson, recalled the last time her and her husband saw their daughter and grand kids alive.

"They backed out of the driveway and started towards Macon Road and Jim called out we love you and they waved and we waved. I never dreamed that the next time we'd see them would be at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary but that's what happened," she said.

Ann's mother says she just can't remember the exact time they left but she does remember what she asked Curry the day after the murders.

"I said, 'Michael did you kill Ann and the children?' No answer. He didn't say anything. So I said, 'Did you hire someone to kill Ann and the children?' He doesn't answer. 'Do you know who killed Ann and the children'? He has never, never answered those three questions. I've asked him more than once," Johnson said.

Michael Curry was also confronted with testimony from his ex-wife, Susan Curry, who he was married to from 2003-2006. She told the jury she saw a letter Curry's mother wrote to him when she thought she was going to die from cancer.

"It also reflected the words of, 'I have a rare form of mouth cancer and I'm dying. There are only two people who know of the deaths and that's going to leave one," she said.

Curry's mother, Joyce, broke down the stand at the suggestion she was his co-conspirator and when asked about a tense divorce conversation Curry had with her and his wife before the murders, she told the jury it was joke and they were just kidding around.

Joyce Curry says her son has been grieving the loss of his wife and kids for the past 25 years and wondering who could have done this to his family. She says the media ruined his life and he moved to Dalton, Georgia after the murders to get out of Columbus.

She says she did not know he was having an affair with a female coworker back then. A former male coworker testified that Curry had expressed regret over starting the "fling."

Bernice Johnson says before her daughter Ann was murdered, she told her that Michael refused to drive her to the hospital when she had their third baby. Ann was eight months pregnant when she died. The victims had various ax wounds to their upper bodies.

A forensic serologist from the GBI testified Friday that the only blood found at the crime scene belonged to the victims.

No blood was found on Michael Curry's clothes and there were no fingerprints on the murder weapon.

The trial will pick up again Monday morning.

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