Accused killer convicted of assault charges in Perry

PERRY — A Warner Robins man faces life in prison after he was found guilty Wednesday on charges stemming from a sexual assault in 2006. The jury deliberated for about an hour before returning with a verdict. Eric Mize, 33, was charged with rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy and aggravated battery. He was convicted on all counts.

Mize also stands accused of the 2006 murder of Felicia L. Hardman, a 29-year-old mother of two. A date for that trial has not been set. Mize was indicted on charges of murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.

“Obviously, the jury saw what we saw, that Erik Mize is an individual who preys on innocent housewives,” Houston County District Attorney Kelly Burke said of Wednesday’s verdict.

“Thanks to the work of the jury, Houston County is a safer place today.”

Sentencing in the assault trial is expected today. Mize faces a minimum of life in prison with a chance of parole after 30 years, Burke said.

Mize showed no emotion as the verdict was read. Donna Burgess, who identified herself as a 10-year friend of Mize, criticized the verdict.

“They got the wrong guy and they made a mistake,” Burgess said. Mize was charged August 14, 2006, with the sexual assault. He was arrested hours after the attack. During the assault investigation, police learned that Mize also knew Hardman, who was murdered 13 days before Mize was arrested.

Telegraph writer Becky Purser contributed to this story. To contact writer Thomas L. Day, call 744-4489.