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Man Sentenced To 25 Years for Sister’s Murder

Man Sentenced To 25 Years for Sister’s Murder
August 02
06:17 2019

In March 2017 Julianne Burke, 29, was senselessly hacked to death just outside her home at the corner of First and St. Peter Street in the King’s Park area of Belize City, and two years later her sibling, Elijah Burke has finally been sentenced to 25 years in prison for her death.

A couple of days after Julianne succumbed to multiple chop wounds to her body, her brother Elijah was detained and initially charged for murder. Earlier this year during his trial he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and on Thursday, July 25th his trial concluded in the courtroom of Justice Marilyn Williams.

After examining the case Justice Williams handed down a 25 year sentence. She extracted 5 years from Burke’s sentence for his guilty plea, and took into consideration the two years he has already spent on remand. He has 18 more years to serve at the Belize Central Prison.

At the time of the incident, Julianne and her 6-year-old son were returning home from a family function when her brother Elijah, armed with a machete, reportedly exited her yard. He attacked his sister and delivered multiple chop wounds to her while he chased her onto the street. Witnesses at the time said that when Julianne collapsed inside a drain, Burke stood over her and finished her off while her son watched in disbelief.

During the trial, Police testified that Burke gave a caution statement explaining that when he exited the yard he was looking for someone to rob and that he did not realize that it was his sister that he had attacked. In court, Elijah also expressed remorse for his actions. He did not call any character witness on his behalf.

Following the incident, the press spoke to Julianne’s common-law husband who relayed that the two siblings had argued over a purse that Burke had allegedly stolen a couple of days prior. It was suspected that the siblings met up at the family function on the same evening of the incident and that had triggered another misunderstanding between them which later led to the fatal attack on the young mother.

A psychiatric evaluation was conducted on Burke which confirmed that he suffered from mental and behavioral psychosis.

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