By Web Staff – email
AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A judge in a murder trial overrode the jury's recommendation and is imposing the death penalty for 26-year-old Courtney Lockhart.
The sentencing trial was delayed for five minutes when the man convicted of killing an Auburn University student, Lauren Burk, shouted out at the victim's father in court Wednesday.
Not long after taking the stand, Burk's father remarked he hopes Lockhart's daughter never goes through what Lauren Burk went through.
Lockhart screamed back from his seat, "I'm sorry for what happened, but don't bring my daughter into this!" That's when sheriff's deputies converged on him.
Wednesday morning, the state asked Judge Jacob Walker to override the jury recommendation and impose the death sentence. Judge Walker says told the courtroom that Lockhart, an Iraq War veteran, deserved the death sentence and was suspected in other crimes that the jury did not know about.
Lockhart, of Smiths Station, AL, was convicted of capital murder in November of last year for the March 2008 killing Lauren Burk of Marietta, GA. That jury unanimously recommended that Lockhart be sentenced to life without parole.
[Watch: Jury finds Lockhart guilty of capital murder ]
WTVM's reporter, Elizabeth White, is following this story. We'll have a full report beginning on News Leader 9 at Five.
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