Man convicted in golf club death

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

A Wilcox County jury deliberated eight-hours after a day-and-a-half trial to return a guilty verdict against 42-year-old Bennie Gordon in the 2003 death of John Andra Harris, according to the district attorney’s office.

Both men were from Camden, District Attorney Michael Jackson said.

Gordon struck 38-year-old Harris with a golf club after an argument, killing the man, Jackson said.

Email newsletter signup

“The blow was so hard it knocked some of his (Harris’) skull into his brain,” Jackson said.

Gordon faces a sentence of 20 years for the manslaughter conviction, Jackson said.

It’s possible, according to prosecutors, that Gordon could face more jail.

“It looks like he has a prior felony,” Jackson said.

If he does, Jackson said it’s possible that Gordon could be sentenced to life in prison.

“Since it was a violent crime we’re going to ask for the maximum amount of time,” he said.

Jackson said Harris and Gordon were arguing over a CD player that belonged to Harris’ brother when the crime occurred.

Harris confronted Gordon about the player at the defendant’s home, Jackson said, located on 66 Harris Road in Camden.

Harris accused Gordon of stealing the CD player, according to Jackson.

A third party was attempting to pull Harris away from the home when Gordon, Jackson said, struck him with the club.

Witness reports indicate Gordon threw the club into the woods nearby. According to reports, the weapon was never found.

Originally, according to Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Thomas the case prosecutor, Gordon was indicted on a murder charge, which carries a tougher sentence.

Thomas said the charge was reduced later due to the circumstances of the crime.

“It was a very close call between murder and manslaughter,” he said.

According to Thomas, the law reduces murder to manslaughter when there is “some type of legal provocation or in the heat of passion.”

Jackson praised Thomas’ work on the case.

“He did an excellent job of getting this conviction,” Jackson said.

Gordon will have a sentencing hearing within the next 60 days, he said.