Jury deliberates Brent Burke case

Brent Burke
Brent Burke
Tracy Burke (WAVE 3 archive photo)
Tracy Burke (WAVE 3 archive photo)
Karen Comer (WAVE 3 archive photo)
Karen Comer (WAVE 3 archive photo)

Elizabethtown, KY - By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Jurors started deliberating at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the double murder trial of a former Army sergeant. Brent Burke is on trial for murdering his estranged wife, Tracy Burke, and her former mother-in-law, Karen Comer. He's also charged with wanton endangerment, one count for each kid in the house, and animal cruelty for shooting a dog.

The jurors have asked to review the 9-1-1 calls one of the children made after the shootings as well as the crime scene video and testimony of the middle child.

In 40 minutes the defense tried to persuade jurors that their client, Brent Burke, was innocent, saying there's no physical evidence to tie him to the crime scene.

"There is no way in today's world that if Brent Burke did that there wouldn't be some evidence of Tracy or Karen on his person, on his shoes, on his clothes, in his van," said defense attorney David Broderick.

The prosecution explained he was with the military police and too smart for that. Also that he had hours to get rid of the evidence, but missed something--the kids, who testified Brent Burke was the shooter.

"He left eyewitnesses alive," said prosecutor Chris Shaw. "The dog was shot. Who leaves the kids alive as eyewitnesses except the father?"

The prosecution brought up numerous witness statements like a roommate who said Burke checked his estranged wife's myspace page all the time. Shaw reminded jurors of an Army supervisor who said Burke told him he was going to shoot her and friend whom Burke asked to lie about seeing her the night before.

"Innocent people don't ask people to lie for them," said Shaw.

The defense reminded juror's the oldest boy called 9-1-1 and didn't say anything about Brent Burke being in the house, only that it was a robber

They challenged the time of death by trying to discredit the Hardin County Deputy Coroner.

He used phone record to try to show Burke couldn't make it from Clarksville, TN to Rineyville, KY and back- in time to be at work by 6 a.m. Sept. 11, 2007.

The prosecution arguing the defense was misinterpreting the records.

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