Killarney, Ont., man gets life sentence for second-degree murder of brother

The Killarney, Ont., man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for his brother’s death in 2020 was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for 15 years.

Kerry Burke was sentenced in Sudbury court on Wednesday for the death of his 56-year-old brother Brant Burke.

Brant Burke was found dead on a trail at Point Grondine Reservation in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on October 25, 2020.

Assistant Crown Attorney Terry Waltenbury and defense attorney Glenn Sandberg made a joint sentencing recommendation.

Waltenbury said he was unlucky to be on a number of murder convictions and emotions were still running high, but this was his first case where the case involved a brother killing his own brother.

« The emotion level here today is about as high as it gets, » he said.

About 50 people were in the courtroom for Burke’s sentencing.

The court heard 10 statements of emotional impact from the victim.

Among them were Brant’s two eldest daughters, who each held an eagle feather as they spoke.

Lee-Ann Burke said her « emotions were wild and unstoppable » since her father’s death.

She said she was self-employed and couldn’t take time off to grieve and process. She described Kerry as « cold-hearted, selfish »

« Who do you trust if not your blood relatives? » she says.

« I believe Kerry is a danger to the community and those around her. »

Her sister Melanie Burke said there was a « massive emotional impact ».

« My father was taken from us and now our family must deal with the consequences, » she said.

« I haven’t had anyone to call now for two Father’s Days. …Kerry, I just want to say you’re dead to me. »

Melanie also threw obscenities at Sheridan, her father’s ex-wife.

Sheridan and her two children also submitted victim impact statements. His lawyer, Michael Lacy, read them.

Sheridan was charged with first-degree murder earlier in the case, but the Crown dropped the charge in July.

Lacy said at the time that Kerry Burke falsely implicated Sheridan in her brother’s death.

One of Brant’s other siblings, Jamie Burke, also had a victim impact statement. He showed up in court via Zoom and attorney Waltenbury read the statement for him. He said « the words ‘I’m sorry’ will never be enough »

« You have changed a large, once happy extended family. »

Sentencing Considerations

In determining the sentence, Judge Kathleen Cullins considered a number of factors, including a Gladue report, which describes the unique experiences of an Indigenous person charged with a crime.

Burke, who is 60, is a member of the Wiikwemkoong group. Cullins noted that he had no history of violence prior to the murder.

She also said her life has been marked by a series of tragedies, including the death by suicide of her brother Raymond in 1999, the death of her father in 2018, the death of two close friends and the death of her beau by overdose. -son on October 15. 8 2020.

Cullins said Burke did not handle these tragedies well and turned to alcohol.

But Cullins said there were also aggravating factors to consider, including elements of pre-murder planning and the use of his brother’s love and trust « as a means of luring him to his dead ».

Cullins said Burke’s crime will continue to impact his family « not just now, but for generations. » She said her family members didn’t understand what happened « and frankly, neither did I. »

Along with his sentence, Burke is ordered not to have contact with a dozen individuals. He will also have a firearms ban if released and must make a DNA submission.

Before hearing sentencing, Burke spoke in court and apologized for his crime.

« I learned from my father to walk the straight and narrow all my life, » he said. « And then one day I crossed that line. »

« I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. »


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