Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Lauren Burk's killer gets the death penalty
An Alabama was sentenced to death Wednesday for the 2008 slaying of an Auburn University student from Marietta.
In 2008, Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk, of Marietta, was found fatally shot along a highway not far from the college.
A Lee County, Ala., Circuit Court jury last November convicted Courtney Lockhart of murdering 18-year-old Lauren Burk and recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
But on Wednesday, Judge Jacob A. Walker III overruled the jury's recommendation and sentenced the Smith’s Station, Ala., man to death.
Lockhart’s sentencing was originally scheduled for late January, but was delayed at the request of prosecutors.
Burk, a 2007 graduate of Walton High School, was a freshman at Auburn when she was abducted from a campus parking lot on March 4, 2008. She was later found dying after being shot in the back along a rural road about four miles north of the Auburn campus.
Lockhart, 26, was arrested three days later in Phenix City, Ala.
The Iraq war veteran, who admitted on tape to abducting, robbing and holding a gun that fired and killed Burk, had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
Kind of mixed on the judge's decision, I do believe more often than not if you commit murder that you do deserve the death penalty. My mixed feelings come from the fact he did serve in Iraq and this may have had something to do with Post Traumatic Stress. In the end though I still feel terrible that a young girl just getting started in life had it all taken away walking to her car in the early evening. I remain somewhat critical of Auburn but understand that security can not be all places at all times. I feel terrible for her family having to deal with such a tremondous loss.