Georgia high court upholds murder conviction in fatal 2008 shooting, robbery

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld a Columbus man’s murder conviction that was based primarily on an eyewitness’ testimony.

Albert Durham was convicted in the Feb. 16, 2008, fatal shooting of George McCrary on Enoch Drive, where Durham took a gold chain from the dying father of five and fled.

Durham was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

At his trial a witness named Janice Ware told jurors she was taking out trash from her boyfriend’s Enoch Drive home when about 30 feet away she saw Durham, whom she knew by the nickname “Hump,” talking to McCrary.

Then Durham pulled out a gun and fired, she said. “He stood for a minute, then he bent over and fell,” she said of McCrary.

Jurors took about 2 1/2 hours to find Durham guilty of murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. The aggravated assault charge was combined with the murder count, and Durham was sentenced to life for murder and armed robbery.

“He was a good father,” McCrary’s mother said before then-Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Doug Pullen sentenced Durham on July 7, 2009. “He was working two jobs to provide for his family. And you just took him for a necklace? And then you left him laying on the ground.”