Originally created 05/11/04

Suspect has prior conviction

A man accused in a weekend slaying served time in prison for another killing almost 30 years ago, state records show.

Henry Osborn Burnett, 61, is charged with murder in the Sunday shooting death of John Miller Carter, 53. The shooting occurred outside Mr. Burnett's Picquet Avenue home, sheriff's Sgt. Scott Peebles said.

The sergeant said Mr. Carter went to Mr. Burnett's residence, where Mr. Burnett apparently sells lighters, cigarettes and other small items.

Police found that Mr. Carter had asked Mr. Burnett if he could get some items on credit, and the two argued about the matter.

Mr. Burnett asked Mr. Carter to leave, the sergeant said, and as Mr. Carter left, he made comments that he was going to shoot Mr. Burnett.

Mr. Carter had no weapon in sight, Sgt. Peebles said.

After Mr. Carter left, Mr. Burnett went outside and fired a .380-caliber gun twice. One bullet struck Mr. Carter in the head, killing him, the sergeant said.

Sgt. Peebles said the two men were acquaintances and did not have a long-standing feud.

According to a 1976 article in The Augusta Chronicle, Mr. Burnett was charged near Christmas that year in the beating death of his 30-year-old wife, Ruth Burnett.

He was sentenced to 15 years on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in 1977, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

The department's records indicate that Mr. Burnett was released on parole in 1982.

Sgt. Peebles said Mr. Burnett's record shows that he had only minor brushes with law enforcement from 1982 until now.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.


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