Trial begins today for an Ardmore man accused of shooting his nephew after trying to prevent him from driving after drinking at a family barbecue.
Keith Daniel George, 39, of 29064 First Ave. West, is charged with murder in the fatal shooting of — Russell “Rusty” George Jr., 26, of Ardmore — on March 16, 2009. Authorities have said Keith shot Rusty after trying to prevent him from driving after drinking alcohol at a family barbecue in Ardmore.
Limestone County District Attorney Brian Jones and Chief Deputy District Attorney James Ayers Jr. will prosecute the case against George. Ayers and Jones recently prosecuted the case against Limestone County grandfather Austin Nichols for raping his 14-year-old granddaughter. He was sentenced to serve 90 years in prison for the crime.
George, who has remained free after posting a $50,000 bail, will be represented by court appointed attorney Garry Clem of Athens.
Clem could not be reached for comment Monday on his defense strategy for the case.
George is accused of shooting his nephew in the calf, chest and thigh just after midnight March 16 during a family barbecue at 26768 Third Street in Ardmore, Sheriff Mike Blakely has said.
The sheriff said at the time of the shooting that George admitted shooting his nephew. There were also several witnesses present, Blakely said.
On the night of the shooting, George tried to prevent his nephew from getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, the sheriff said.
“When Rusty and his girlfriend started to leave, Keith told him he didn’t need to drive drunk and they got into it,” Blakely said.
Rusty struck Keith, which prompted Keith to get a stick from his truck, the sheriff said. Rusty got the stick from Keith and struck him with it, so Keith retrieved his .45-caliber handgun and allegedly shot his nephew three times, Blakely said.
George was initially charged with attempted murder but was charged with murder after Rusty died at Huntsville Hospital later that morning.