Georgia Supreme Court upholds murder conviction of man in killing of lottery winner

BEN HILL COUNTY, Ga. — A man found guilty in the killing of a lottery winner will have to serve out his prison sentence after the Georgia Supreme Court upheld his murder conviction.

Dabrentise Overstreet was one of seven people charged in the 2016 murder of Craigory Burch Jr. in Fitzgerald, Georgia. The 20-year-old was killed just two months after winning $434,272 when he hit the Fantasy 5 jackpot.

Overstreet argued that evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his malice murder charge, but the judges disagreed in an opinion released Tuesday.

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“The evidence, including Overstreet’s statements bragging about the shooting to others involved in the crimes, also authorized the jury to determine that Overstreet then shot Burch several times after demanding money from him. Thus, the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to sustain Overstreet’s malice murder conviction,” the opinion read.

After winning the jackpot, Burch bought Christmas presents for children in his neighborhood and purchased a new home for him and his girlfriend.

Prosecutors said Overstreet and others “did not appreciate that Burch had bought gifts for the children in the neighborhood and stated that they wanted to rob Burch because he was ‘flexing’ and ‘showing off’ by handing out the gifts.”

So Overstreet and the others put on ski masks and broke into Burch’s home under the cover of late-night darkness to rob him of his lottery winnings, the prosecution said.

Once inside the home, they repeatedly asked, “Where the money at?” One of the men then shot Burch in the knee twice.

Burch’s children where in the house during the robbery. He yelled, “Don’t do this in front of my kids.”

Prosecutors said the men left the home a few minutes later but soon returned and shot him five more times, killing him.

Authorities said the men made off with $200 and some cell phones.

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They were later arrested and charged in the killing.

All seven suspects were charged with malice murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.

In 2018, then-Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous for jackpots larger than $250,000. The lottery won’t identify the winners, even through the open records law.

In 2008, a Laurens County woman was stabbed to death in her home after winning a $5 million lottery jackpot.

Derrick Lorenzo Stanley, of East Dublin, was charged in the death of Doris Murray, a mother of 4. The Associated Press said family members called 911 saying they had seen Stanley leaving her modest block home with blood on his face.

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Sheriff’s investigator Sgt. Stan Wright said he believed Murray and Stanley may have argued over a break-up.

“Her family said they had been boyfriend and girlfriend for some time,” Wright said. “Then she told him she wanted to break it off and she wanted to be friends and that was it. From what they told me, he didn’t want to accept that.”

Murray had planned to use the money to start a trust fund for her grandchildren, according to a Lottery news release issued at the time of her winning.