Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lauren Burk Update

The Alabama man charged with killing Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk confessed to police that he shot the Marietta native during a robbery and attempted rape last week, according to murder warrants read during his first court hearing.
In affidavits for the murder warrants charging Courtney Lockhart with three counts of capital murder, Auburn police Det. Randy Armstrong stated that Lockhart "admitted that he forced Ms. Burk into her car and robbed her of personal property.

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"After he robbed her, Lockhart said that he drove Ms. Burk around and made her take off her clothes. Lockhart stated that he shot Ms. Burk with the handgun he had in his possession. Lockhart said he drove Ms. Burk's car back to the Auburn University campus and set it on fire."

The warrant says Lockhart accosted Burk on the Auburn campus in order to steal her credit or debit card "and/or an iPod."

The warrant also states that when Lockhart was arrested Friday in Phenix City, Ala., he had a pistol that was linked by forensics to Burk's death.
Lockhart is being held on three counts: capital murder during kidnapping, capital murder during robbery and capital murder during attempted rape. In the affidavit alleging rape, police said that he killed Burk "during the time that he was engaged or attempting to engage in sexual intercourse...by forcible compulsion."

Burk, an 18-year-old graduate of Marietta's Walton High School, was found fatally wounded on the night of March 4 along a sparsely-populated stretch of state highway about four miles north of the campus.

Lockhart lived in Smiths, Ala., about 30 miles southeast of Auburn and reportedly grew up in that area.

He was in the Army in Iraq from August 2004 to July 2005 and was court-martialed, sentenced to confinement and given a bad conduct discharge in December 2006 for charges including assault, military officials told The Associated Press.
An Army spokesman at the Pentagon, Maj. Nathan Banks, said Lockhart was court-martialed at Fort Carson, Colo., in August 2006 and convicted of communicating a threat and use of marijuana as well as assault. He was sentenced to seven months' confinement and a reduction in rank to E-1. Banks was uncertain of Lockhart's previous rank.
Lockhart received a bad conduct discharge on Dec. 4, 2006, after receiving an early release from confinement at Fort Sill, Okla.

Banks said the records he has available do not indicate who was assaulted, but the victim would have been in the military since the case was handled by the military rather than civilian police.
Lockhart also faces charges is robberies in the area — including one Friday morning at a Wal-Mart in Newnan, just hours before he was apprehended in Phenix City.

At the same time Lockhart appeared Lee County Circuit Court in the county seat of Opelika Monday afternoon, several thousand Auburn students held a memorial service for Burk on campus.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

I notice that his Iraq service is being played up and while I respect anyone's service in our armed forces, the crime he committed against Lauren is inexcusable and the only appropriate penalty in this case is death.

One of the bigger questions over the next few years will be has our time in Iraq created a group that will be sick and never be able to integrate back into society upon their return from Iraq. Are the horrors many of them have seen too much?

Lauren's death is really just so sad because it is so senseless. A few bucks and an ipod are not worth someone's life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think his Iraq service is being played up that much except to show that he has a history of violent crimes. I mean, he was convicted and discharged from the military because he assaulted someone and also made a threat.

The press is excusing this because the perp is a veteran...Auburn University has no security in place...does anyone live up to your standards?