• Parents of murdered Auburn University student furious killer wants new trial

    By: Richard Elliot, WSBTV.com

    Updated:

    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - The parents of a Georgia teenager murdered at Auburn University a decade ago are furious that the man convicted of killing her has asked for a new trial.

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    Lauren Burk, from Marietta in metro Atlanta, was a freshman at Auburn University and a graduate of Walton High School. 

    Investigators say Courtney L. Lockhart kidnapped Burk from her campus apartment, forced her to undress as he drove her around and then shot her in the back as she tried to escape from a moving car. 

    Lockhart was arrested for Burk’s murder in 2008 and sentenced to death in an Alabama courtroom in 2011.

    Now, Lockhart is claiming his defense attorneys were so bad he deserves a new trial. 

    Burk's parents think it is unfair that he keeps getting appeals. 

    Jim and Vivian Burk are still haunted by their daughter's death 10 years after it happened. They recently received a letter from the Alabama attorney general's office alerting them that Lockhart will appeal his death sentence.

    This latest appeal infuriates the Burks, who must now endure seeing him back in the same courtroom in which he was convicted. 

    The Cobb County couple say they just want to see Lockhart pay for what he did to their daughter. 

    "For him to be able to sit in that cell every day and think about one day his life ending like my daughter's, it gives me some sort of comfort," Jim Burk said. 

    Vivian Burk said they are both still haunted by the details of the crime that took their daughter's life. 

    "He shot her in the back like a coward," Vivian Burk said. "She was trying to escape from a moving car and he made her undress. She was, you know, totally helpless."

    Lockhart’s latest hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17 in Alabama. Depending on the outcome, it mark the end of his appeals. 

    But the Burks are angry that their daughter's killer gets the chance to appeal at all.

    "I just don't understand why a murderer, as heinous as this crime was, as far as how he abducted my daughter, is able to have all these options and Lauren has no options," Jim Burk said. 

    Vivian Burk feels like Lockhart is being given chances her daughter never had. 

    "So why should he have any more rights than my daughter did?" Vivian Burk asked. "He took her rights away, and he took her life away."

    Jim Burk said his grief is more manageable than it was 10 years ago, but it is still there, and so is his anger at Lockhart. 

    "You know, Lauren's not breathing anymore, and there's no reason that he should be," Jim Burk said. "That's just the way I feel."

     

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