Lockhart sentenced to death for Auburn student's murder

5:08 PM, Mar 2, 2011   |    comments
  • Courtney Lockhart
  • Auburn Univ. coed and Marietta native Lauren Burk was found dead near Auburn's campus in 2008. She was 18.
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OPELIKA, AL -- The man who killed an Auburn University freshman in 2008 will die by lethal injection.

On Wednesday, Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker overruled a jury's recommendation of life without parole for 26-year-old Courtney Lockhart. He was convicted of kidnapping and killing 18-year-old Lauren Burk of Marietta.

Lockhart's sentencing was briefly delayed by a heated exchange between Lockhart and Burk's father in court.

From the stand Burk's father told Lockhart, "I hope your daughter never has to go through what Lauren went through,"  

"Leave my daughter out of this," Lockhart screamed back. "I am sorry for what happened, but leave my daughter out of this."

Lockhart's mother got so upset, that at one point she had to be restrained by family members.

A veteran of the Iraq War, Lockhart claimed he was mentally disturbed by the war and didn't mean to shoot Burk.

Lauren Burk was kidnapped on March 4, 2008. She was shot in the back while trying to escape from a car and bled to death on the side of the road. Her car was found burning on Auburn's campus a short while later.



(The Associated Press and WSFA Montgomery contributed to this report.)

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