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A man is set to spend the rest of his days in a Texas prison for plotting to have his landlord murdered over an eviction proceeding.
Even the Fort Bend County district attorney, Brian Middleton, acknowledged it was a “harsh” punishment but maintained it was “entirely appropriate,” according to Harris County outlet Covering Katy News. Prosecutors said that the defendant, Andrew Christopher Burke, 36, threatened the would-be hitman with torture, and after the arrest, attacked jail guards and staff.
“Andrew Burke should remain in prison for as long as he is a danger to the public,” said prosecutor Katherine Peterson in closing arguments.
Jurors convicted Burke of the murder-for-hire plot. Records show he was sentenced on Wednesday. He received 465 days credit time served. Burke reportedly will not be eligible for parole.
Authorities reportedly said he sought a hitman in June 2022 because his landlord in the city of Sugar Land was trying to evict him. But the man he tried to hire instead told law enforcement and helped in the investigation. He spoke to Burke while wearing a wire, authorities said.
“During the recorded meetings, the defendant promised to pay the informant for the killing and then threatened to torture the informant if he did not commit the murder,” prosecutors said. “Additionally, Burke gave the informant a gun to use in the murder.”
“Law enforcement was able to prevent the senseless murder of a property owner who began proceedings to evict the defendant,” Middleton said. “A life sentence is harsh, but entirely appropriate, considering the defendant’s criminal conduct and continued violence.”
More Law&Crime coverage: Tenant facing eviction charged with brutal garage ax murder of landlord on day of court hearing
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