A convicted drug dealer standing trial on a murder charge testified in his own defense Wednesday, telling the jury George Burnett’s fatal injury was unintentional.
Reco Hurley, 33, was the last witness to testify in his Richmond County Superior Court trial. Jurors are expected to begin their deliberations Thursday.
Burnett never regained consciousness after he suffered a severe brain injury Jan. 2, 2011. He remained in a vegetative state until he died on Dec. 14, 2011, just months after his 50th birthday.
A medical examiner testified Wednesday that Burnett’s injuries were not caused by a single blow.
There were no witnesses to Burnett’s attack that night near a Cleveland Street boarding house, and no physical evidence links Hurley to the assault.
Hurley, however, implicated himself when questioned by a sheriff’s investigator. Hurley was in jail facing his second drug charge – which would become his fourth felony conviction – when he was questioned about Burnett’s injuries.
In that statement shared with the jury, Hurley said Burnett fell and smacked his head on a cement step after Burnett snatched crack from his hand and tried to hit him.
Hurley told the jury Wednesday that an intoxicated Burnett fell and hit his head on concrete after Hurley told him there was no cocaine.
“I hate what happened. The whole incident was unfortunate,” he said.