Jury convicts 80-year-old man in moving day murder

MCDONOUGH, GA – An Ellenwood man will spend life in prison after opening fire on his family as they were packing to move, resulting in the death of a 19-year-old man.

A Henry County jury returned the guilty verdict Friday night against 80-year-old Hailu Abebe on one count of malice murder, one count of felony murder, and four counts each of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Following the verdict, Superior Court Judge Danielle Roberts sentenced Abebe to life in prison plus 20 years.

Defendant Hailu Abebe lived on Scarborough Road in Ellenwood with his son, Daniel Abebe, Daniel Abebe’s fiancé Alisha Price, and Price’s two children.

Evidence at the trial showed the defendant was angry and harassing his family members. This led the son and fiancé to move out of the home.

On July 7, 2020 , the son and the fiancé’s son, 19-year-old Brian Woolridge, were inside a U-Haul box truck outside the home packing their belongings to move when the defendant came outside and opened fire into the truck.

Hailu Abebe fired multiple rounds into the truck, striking 19-year-old Brian Woolridge in the leg. After being shot, Woolridge jumped out of the truck and started running. He collapsed in the yard. The defendant then walked over to him and fired another round into Woolridge, killing him.

The other family members detained the defendant and called police.

“This is a sad story that tore a family apart,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said. “The family is grateful to have justice for this young man who was just starting his life.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Brittany Forester and Chief Assistant District Attorney Deborah Venuto of the Homicide and Gang Unit.




For media inquiries or Open Records Requests, contact:

Megan L. Matteucci

Assistant District Attorney and Public Information Officer
Henry County District Attorney’s Office