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Lottery Winner Accused of Murder, Spending Jackpot on Cocaine

September 21, 1991

LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Willie Hurt won a $3.1 million lottery jackpot two years ago, but his lawyer says he’s penniless and he’s been accused of killing a woman over crack cocaine.

Hurt was arraigned Friday on open murder charges in the Sept. 19 death of Wendy Elizabeth Kimmey, 30, who was shot in the head.

Kimmey’s body was found on the floor of the Burkewood Inn, a rooming house where Hurt had been renting a room for about three weeks, police said.

Witnesses told police the couple had been on a drug and alcohol binge there for two days. Residents said they heard Hurt and Kimmey arguing.

Ingham County Prosecutor Donald Martin said he believes Hurt was enraged because they couldn’t find any crack cocaine.

Hurt turned himself in to Lansing police on Thursday.

In June 1989, Hurt won $3.1 million in Michigan’s Super Lotto drawing, to be paid in 20 annual installments of about $156,000 each.

But his attorney, Malik Hodari, said Hurt is penniless and is in the process of a divorce. He has three adult children.

Mason District Judge Thomas Brennan Jr. ordered Hurt to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

″He doesn’t recall making or signing a confession, which I’m told he did,″ Hodari said. ″This is a very sad case, but we don’t know all the facts.″

If convicted, Hurt faces up to life in prison without parole.

Lottery officials say a conviction wouldn’t stop the Lotto payments.

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