Burke said that after he chopped a woman in a robbery attempt, he found out that it was his sister
BELIZE CITY, Fri. July 26, 2019– Sororicide is the act of killing one’s sister: It is a rare kind of murder, but it happens from time to time, and in Belize, there was such an incident in March 2017. Police arrested and charged a man, who apparently had mental issues, with the murder of his sister.
This past January, Elijah Burke, 27, was scheduled to go on trial for the murder of Julian Burke, 28, his sister. He admitted, in a caution statement that he gave to Inspector Wilfredo Ferrufino, that he chopped her to death on the night of Sunday, March 27, 2017.
Instead of going to trial, Burke pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday, Thursday, when he appeared before Supreme Court justice Marilyn Williams.
Justice Williams sentenced Burke to serve a prison term of 25 years. The court, however, was mindful of the fact that he pleaded guilty and saved time and resources, and so, in consideration of that, the judge deducted five years from his sentence. Burke will only have to serve a jail sentence of 20 years.
The court had appointed attorney Darrell Bradley to defend Burke, and Bradley entered a mitigation plea on his behalf prior to the passing of the sentence. The Crown was represented by Senior Crown Counsel Sheiniza Smith.
On the morning of Monday, March 28, 2017, police arrested Burke for the chopping death of his sister, Julian Burke.
Burke, after he was cautioned and told that he did not have to give a statement, decided that he would tell police what happened and how it was that he came to kill his sister in front of her son, his nephew.
Burke told police that on that Sunday, he went looking for copper wire at the garbage dump in Belize City, and when he did not find any there, he decided to walk to Ladyville.
Apparently, he had more luck in finding copper wire in Ladyville, because he described trying to hitchhike back to the city, but said he was unable to do so, and that when he finally made it back, the establishment which usually buys his copper wire was already closed.
When he made it back to the city, he decided to go to his sister Julian’s house to beg her for some money. When he reached Julian’s house, however, she was not at home, so he decided that he would go to the house of another of his sisters, Shirlett, who lived on New Road.
In his statement, Burke explained that when he arrived at Shirlett’s house, there was a party going on and he saw Julian and her son there.
Burke said he asked Julian if she could lend him $4, but she told him that she did not have $4. He asked Shirlett and she gave him the $4, which he used to buy chips and noodles. Burke explained that after eating the noodles and chips, he was still hungry, so he went to the area where Julian lived to see if he could find someone to rob.
He told police that he had his stuff in a bag and his machete was wrapped up in a piece of cloth. He then walked to the Kings Park area, where Julian lived.
At this point in his caution statement, it was unclear how he approached the person he intended to rob, who turned out to be his sister, Julian.
He said that he was going to rob her, but that she pulled out a knife and stabbed him, and he chopped her with the machete.
When he realized that he had chopped his sister Julian, Burke said, he got “nervous and decided to run away.”
He said that he spent a sleepless night on Jane Usher Boulevard and in the morning, he went to Shirlett and told her what he had done to Julian. He was later arrested by police.