Seven charged in home invasion murder of U.S. lottery winner

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 29, 2016 1:15 PM

(Reuters) - Seven people have been charged in the murder of a 20-year-old forklift operator who was killed in his home two months after winning nearly a half million dollars in a Georgia state lottery, police and media reports said.

Craigory Burch was shot dead in Fitzgerald, Georgia, in January after masked intruders blasted open his door with a shotgun, WALB television reported. Burch had won $434,272 in a Fantasy 5 jackpot in November 2015, local news outlets reported.

Burch was a "pre-selected target" of a home invasion, the Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Monday. It did not provide a motive for the killing, or whether or not Burch was singled out because of his lottery winnings.

Seven people, ranging in age from 17 to 28, had been charged, the statement said. They face charges of malice murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, home invasion, and possession of a firearm while committing a crime. Additional charges and individuals may be added as authorities continue to investigate, the sheriff's office said.

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(Reporting by Letitia Stein; editing by Grant McCool)