Man sentenced to life in prison for 2020 Bulloch Co. murder

Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 4:31 PM EST
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BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A man has been sentenced to life in prison for a murder in Bulloch County in 2020.

Lee Allen Mayhew has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 55 years for killing Bonnie Lanier Rushing.

A jury found Mayhew guilty of 13 charges, including murder, in early February.

The judge handed down his sentence against Lee Mayhew Tuesday, but not before a line of family and friends testified to how Bonnie Rushing’s death has impacted their lives.

Mayhew returned to court after being convicted of murder and other charges earlier this month. He’s accused of fleeing authorities in Tennessee and burglarizing Rushing and another neighbor to stay on the run.

Prosecutors say he killed Rushing at her home, then stole her SUV to flee to Florida. Family members talked about their grief and the hurt they felt, including his own testimony in the trial.

“You got on the stand and teared up talking about not being there for your mother. I wanted to slap the living crap out of you. You took their mother’s life when they were 18 and 23,” said Pat Lanier Jones, the victim’s sister.

Mayhew also spoke in his own defense. He admitted to the burglaries but still denied killing Rushing.

He acknowledged he’d stolen and pawned family jewelry from Rushing and offered to pay to buy it back if authorities could find it.