Months after he was released on parole for a murder he committed in 1999, a Pennsylvania man allegedly stabbed his girlfriend’s 8-year-old son to death before fleeing the state.
Keith Burley, 43, was arrested in Youngstown, Ohio, Tuesday morning by U.S. Marshals hours after fleeing Pennsylvania where he is accused of killing his girlfriend's son in front of other children.
Burley allegedly assaulted his 36-year-old girlfriend Monday night while they were driving in Union Township. He then took her car, according to the Pennsylvania State Police. However, her 8-year-old and 7-year-old sons were still in the vehicle, prompting Burley to to return to their home, where authorities say he fatally stabbed the 8-year-old.
The boy killed has been identified as Mark Edward Mason by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
Three other children witnessed the stabbing, including the boy’s 7-year-old brother, another 8-year-old and a 15-year-old, according to KDKA. Initially, Burley entered the home allegedly holding a gun and asked some of the kids in the house to fetch the gun’s magazine for him, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. As the children searched for it, Burley allegedly began stabbing Mason.
A criminal complaint obtained by the station states that the child witnesses said Burley was yelling, “Die!” as he stabbed Mason.
Mason’s 7-year-old brother ran out of the house and asked neighbors to call police.
Mason was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police referred to the boy’s mother as Burley’s longtime girlfriend.
“He’s only been out a month or two,” Burley’s cousin Andre Burley told KDKA. “He has done like 25 years in jail, he just recently came home. It wasn’t that child’s time. It wasn’t worth that. I don’t know what he was thinking in his head to take a child’s life. I guess that’s what he wanted to do to make him feel better.”
Burley has been charged with homicide, aggravated assault, kidnap to inflict injury, reckless endangerment, and simple assault.
He was paroled on March 28, after serving more than 18 years for the shooting death of 36-year-old Randell Kevin Stewart. While in prison, he was twice charged for assaulting other inmates, KDKA reports. As a teen, Burley was convicted of assault and weapon charges.
“He was just different,” his childhood friend Don Searcy told KDKA with a chuckle.
He was reportedly captured Tuesday while walking down a street in Ohio.
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