Murdered 19-year-old's family must wait 4 years for trial - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Murdered 19-year-old's family must wait 4 years for trial

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Since May 2009, this family's life can be described in one word:

"Horrible," Barbara Virappen said.  "It's devastating.  It's mind breaking."

Virappen's 19-year-old son Edward was the night manager at a Popeye's restaurant when George Curry Jr., a former employee shot him six times during a robbery, police said.

"He had been locked up since 1992," crime victim's advocate Andy Kahan said.

The 45-year-old should have been behind bars when he allegedly killed Virappen, but his 24-year federal drug sentence was reduced.  In July 2008, Curry was released.

Less than a year later, Edward would be dead.

"Anybody can figure that one out," Kahan said.  "If the sentence hadn't been reduced, he would have been in prison and none of this happens."

If that wasn't enough of a blow from the justice system, the Virappens have seen three trial dates come and go for the same reason:  the defense's search for mitigating circumstances, some reason for Curry's alleged actions.

The most recent trial date was early October.  Now, it's been moved to May 2013.

"You expect something that's going to happen and it just keeps being pushed back," Edward's brother, Shawn, said.  "It's like pulling out a rug from under you."

The most recent delay was granted due to a defense motion for a mitigation expert to track down Curry's 27 siblings, and that's just on his dad's side.

"They're looking for his 27 siblings that he doesn't even know," Barbara said.  "They're not looking at Edward's two siblings that he has; they're not looking at Edward's mother and father."

The new trial date will be exactly four years after Edward was killed.

"I can't recall a case that's taken this long," Kahan said.

Edward's family said the DA's office waited two weeks after the trial date had been moved before telling them about the change.

"No one really cares about what we feel or what we think," Shawn said.    

In a statement, the DA's office told us they can understand how frustrated the family feels over the trial continuance until May.  They went on to say they will vigorously prosecute Curry while giving him every legal right afforded to him.

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