Man sentenced to life in prison for 2022 murder of pregnant woman

Published 11:21 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

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A LaFayette man has been sentenced to two concurrent life sentences for the 2022 murder and feticide of Breanne Burgess, a LaGrange resident, who was 20 weeks pregnant at the time. The sentencing was announced in a press release from John Herbert Crawford Jr., the Coweta District Attorney.

Curteze Avery, 30, was indicted by a Troup County grand jury on Oct. 6, 2022, for the Malice Murder of Burgess and Feticide of Burgess’s unborn child. On March 27, 2024, Avery pleaded guilty. Superior Court Judge Erica Tisinger sentenced Avery to two life sentences for the murders.

According to past reporting by LaGrange Daily News, Avery was arrested with another suspect, Shallandra Freeman in 2022. According to the district attorney’s office, Freeman’s charges are still pending. LPD detectives determined that Avery, Freeman, and Burgess had been acquaintances for several years and the victim was targeted.

According to Georgia law, Avery will be able to seek parole in 2052, however, the parole board will be “authorized to reject his request,” the press release states.

At 2:35 a.m. on July 27, 2022, Burgess was found dead near Fort Drive and Whiteville Road in LaGrange. According to LaGrange Police Department, Burgess had been stabbed in the throat 14 times. She and the unborn child were pronounced dead on the scene.

LPD was able to find a friend of Burgess through phone records, who was in contact with the victim shortly before her death. The friend told LPD they last saw Burgess with Avery driving away in a neon green Chevrolet Camero.

Investigators tracked the Camero by using LaGrange traffic cameras to the acne of the murder shortly before and after the time of the murders, said the press release. The car was found at a residence on Alton Dr in LaGrange, shared by Avery and Freeman, a few hours after the murders occurred.

Blood was found inside and on the outside of the car. LPD then obtained a search warrant for the car and residence, where Avery was found. Blood was also found inside the house and on clothes found in the washer and dryer. The blood found at the residence and cars were sent for DNA analysis at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab, where it was found to match Burgess.

According to the press release, senior Assistant District Attorney David McLaughlin prosecuted the case and LaGrange Police Department Detective Charles Brown led the investigation.

“Avery cut short the life [Burgess] and her unborn child. For this, it is just that he is now sentenced to serve Life in prison. While the family of Ms. Burgess will never fully heal from this senseless crime, the District Attorney’s Office is relieved to have obtained a Life sentence without the family experiencing the difficulty and uncertainty of a jury trial,” Crawford stated.