Michael Curry case: Slater asks judge to allow evidence found in home

April 8, 2011 

The prosecution in the murder case against Michael Curry, accused of hacking his pregnant wife and two children to death in 1985, has filed a supplemental brief in Muscogee Superior Court, arguing that items found during a search of Curry’s Dalton, Ga., home in 2008 be allowed as evidence.

Curry is in jail awaiting trial on charges that he killed his 24-year-old wife, Ann, and their children Erika, 4, and Ryan, 20 months, on Aug. 29, 1985.

During a March 8 hearing before Judge John Allen, Curry’s lawyer, public defender Bob Wadkins Sr., argued that evidence gathered during an Oct. 14, 2008 search of Curry’s home be suppressed.

According to the prosecution’s filing late Thursday, on Oct. 14, 2008, Curry’s ex-wife, Susan Curry, called Columbus police and told them that she had found a letter written to Curry from his mother, Joyce Curry. The letter said, “after I die of cancer, there will only be one person who knows what happened to Ann and the kids,” the filing states. That and other statements Susan Curry made to authorities were the basis for a Whitfield County judge to issue a search warrant.

In her motion filed Friday, District Attorney Julia Slater argues that there was clearly sufficient cause for the warrant to be issued. She also argues that, even if the warrant were ruled invalid, the state should still be allowed to use certain items found in Curry’s house.

Slater cites “inevitable discovery doctrine,” which means certain items found in the search “ultimately or inevitably would have been discovered by lawful means, without reference to police error or misconduct.”

Slater points to details of a life insurance settlement that were discovered, which were also published in the Ledger-Enquirer. Also, the marriage certificate and divorce agreement between Michael Curry and Anita Baker would have been otherwise available, Slater argues. The DA also points to phone records that the prosecution would have obtained, based on Susan Curry’s statement to police that her husband had been checking phone records to see if she was in contact with police. During the March 8 hearing, Judge Allen he was inclined to side with the defense. He called the search warrant’s basis “clearly insufficient on its face,” and said getting the evidence admitted at Curry’s April 18 trial would be “an uphill battle for the state.” Michael Curry was not charged with the slayings for 24 years. He was living in Dalton, Ga., when authorities arrested him May 20, 2009, after a grand jury indicted him on evidence assembled by cold-case investigators. He since has been held in the Muscogee County Jail. Allen has set his bond at $300,000 -- $100,000 for each of the three victims. Because Allen has issued a gag order in the case, attorneys, investigators and others involved in it are not at liberty to comment on it publicly.

Ledger-Enquirer reporter Tim Chitwood contributed to this report.

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