FITZGERALD, GEORGIA — Just when things were about to turn around for one man after winning the lotto, a group broke into his home and murdered him in front of his children.
NOTE: This is one moment that makes you not want to win the lottery — since you’re penalized for staying anonymous, IF your state allows for anonymity according to KCCI-8. Most state laws require your information to become public once you win. And, that took a turn for the worst in this case.
Today would have been Craigory Burch Jr's 22nd birthday. His family visited him as his gravesite to sing happy birthday and share memories. pic.twitter.com/l2ebCv1csn
— Desirae Duncan WLOX (@DesiraeWLOX) July 13, 2017
WFXL 31 reports that police charged seven people in the shooting death of 20-year-old Georgia Lottery winner Craigory Burch, Jr.
According to the source, Burch died just two months after winning $434,272 via the Fantasy 5 jackpot.
Investigators mention that a masked group broke into Burch’s home during the night, aiming to rob him of his winnings.
The source identified the suspects as:
- Rosalyn Swain, 22
- Keyona Dyous, 24
- Earnest Holcomb, 27
- Wayan Jordan, 17
- Dabrentis Overstreen, 19
- Nathaniel Baker, 28
- and Anjavell Johnson, 21.
— Zero Day (@officialzeroday) March 30, 2016
And, as the source mentions, all seven suspects were charged with malice murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Ben Hill County Sheriff Bobby McLemore told the news station that the attack, of course, appeared to be targeted and not random.
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED
Before winning the lottery, according to Burch’s friends, he worked as a forklift operator. Once he won, the source says he used some of his lottery winnings to buy Christmas presents for those in need.
Unfortunately, the incident happened shortly before midnight, in the 100 block of Stubbs Avenue.
McLemore says 3 masked men kicked down the door of the home and demanded Burch give them the money. He was sitting in the living room holding his 2-year-old child.
Jasmine Hendricks, Burch’s girlfriend, told the source he pleaded with the attackers before they fatally shot him. She explained as follows.
“When they came in, he said, ‘Don’t do it, bro. Don’t do it in front of my kids. Please don’t do it in front of my kids and old lady. Please don’t do that, bro. Please don’t.'”
Authorities mention that the men shot Burch in both his legs, then stepped outside. But, they came back in and shot him again.
According to the source, the home invasion and murder was worked on by the Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), and Crisp County’s District Attorney’s Office.
McLemore didn’t want residents worried since it was a targeted incident. However, sometime after apprehension and booking, one of the suspects escaped the prison.
WSB-TV reports that it was Earnest Holcomb. Below, the source mentions that he used the jail’s roof to escape.
The sheriff says Holcomb was in the exercise yard when he suddenly “slipped out of view.”
According to the sheriff, Holcomb then reached the rooftop and removed his pink jumpsuit — then, “somehow escaped.”
Sheriff McLemore mentioned as follows.
“We will work around the clock and we will put as many officers as necessary as we did in the beginning. And we kept these officers on this case around the clock 7 days a week till we got it solved. The people of Fitzgerald can rest assure when we have a crime, we devote whatever time it takes to get the job done.”
According to KCCI-8, only few states allow players to remain anonymous — i.e., Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina.
However, if you’re a winner from another state, the source says the laws are in place to show transparency as well as show the public that real people actually win.
And regardless the apparent dangers of blasting the winner’s information for all to see, lottery officials maintain that “it’s a balancing act between making sure the game is fair while addressing privacy concerns.”
All in all, what are your thoughts about this incident? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]