Burke sentenced to life in prison without parole for murder of estranged wife, former mother-in-law


by WHAS11


Posted on May 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 8 at 10:05 PM

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Brent Burke went through four mis-trials in civilian court, but after just one week of a court martial a military panel found  him guilty of murder.

At around 8:30 p.m. central time Tuesday, Burke was sentenced to life in prison without parole, reprimanded without any pay and dishonorably discharged from service.

Burke was found guilty this Tuesday afternoon of murdering his estranged wife Tracy Burke and former mother-in-law Karen Comer in 2007.

A seven member military panel found Burke guilty on, two counts of pre-meditated murder, breaking & entering, child endangerment and obstruction of justice.

It took less than three hours to deliver the finding.

Burke's son and stepson testified against him. They were 4 and 9-years-old at the time. His youngest said he saw his father with a gun at the murder scene.

Though forensics experts could not link his DNA to the crime, prosecution argued that Burke had glass fragments on his jacket from the home.

The court martial is Burke's fifth trial. The others ended in mistrials and hung juries.

In military court it only takes 5 of 7 members on the panel to agree on a guilty finding.

Burke has the right to appeal through the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington D.C.

He may be taken to a Federal prison or the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.