News

76-year-old gets life for shotgun slaying

Currin Currin CAMERON—A 76-year-old Milano man drew a life sentence from a 20th District Court jury Thursday after he was convicted of murder in the shotgun slaying investigators said grew out of a long-standing feud.

Gordon Currin received the life sentence after the jury found him guilty of shooting 48-year-old Gregory James Storey, also of Milano, three times in the back Oct. 20, 2008.

The jury took less than two hours to find Currin guilty and one-half hour to deliver the life sentence.

Prosecutor Kerry Spears urged the jurors not to consider Currin's age when determining the sentence.

Shooting There wasn't a dispute over what happened at Roadside Barbecue at 6:05 p.m. Oct. 20. Sheriff David Greene said Curr in f ired his 12-gauge shotgun three times as Stor ey entered the business, which had been the focal point of a feud between the two men.

Spears said Currin was "taking care of a nuisance." Currin claimed "self defense," saying he thought Storey was entering the restaurant to retrieve a gun.

Greene said the feud between Storey and Currin, original owner of the property over who would operate the restaurant, which had been closed.

A court case in Cameron concerning the restaurant dispute was held the day of the shooting and investigators said a deputy sheriff had warned Currin on the day of the shooting to stay away from the restaurant.

Currin, who drove to Cameron and turned himself in following the shooting, told investigators he had driven by the restaurant and exchanged gestures with Storey.

Currin said he dropped off a passenger and returned to the restaurant where the shooting occurred.

Greene said the Storeys live by the restaurant and a daughter-inlaw observed the confrontation and was running back to the home to call 911 when the shooting happened.

'Bravado'

Spears told the jurors "bravado" made Currin a killer and produced six witnesses who testified to the defendant's propensity for volatility, stubbornness and vulgarity. They included:

• Milano resident Karl Westbrook, who said Currin accused him of being a thief and threatened him after Currin's hunting dog strayed and Westbrook "spent three weeks trying to find the owner."

• Bonnie Johnson, office manager at Milano Water Supply, who said she called police after Currin became enraged over a billing dispute, cursed her and threw a wadded-up receipt at her.

• Dr. Er ic Mu r phy, a c ollege professor, who said Currin punched him at a Milano convenience store after a confrontation triggered when Dr. Murphy inadvertently parked in front of a gasoline pump Currin wanted to use.

Statement

Tammy Storey, wife of the victim, read an emotional statement to Currin after the sentence was announced.

"I w ish you could hear my babies cry," she said.

The family has six children.

In November, Mrs. Storey, also acting on behalf of three of her children, filed a civil lawsuit against Currin seeking most of his assets in connection with the shooting.


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2009-06-18 digital edition



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