Kareem Lane trial begins Tuesday - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Kareem Lane trial begins Tuesday


It was at the door of a home on Broadway in Columbus where Jim Burns lay dying after being stabbed with a hunting knife by a burglar on an October night in 1992.

Police say the superintendent was asleep next to his wife when he was attacked and stabbed in the back. Burns tried to run after the suspect but died when he reached the doorway. The murder weapon was left nearby.

Neighbors told authorities that they witnessed a masked man running from the home. He was questioned by police but later released because no evidence would tie him to the scene of the crime. That man was then 17-year-old Kareem Lane.

Fast-forward nearly 18 years later. Columbus police announced that after years of cold leads, the Burns murder case was hot once again. DNA evidence was re-tested and Kareem Lane was again at the center of a murder investigation. His DNA, along with Jim Burns', was found on the murder weapon. Police arrested Lane in 2010 at his home in Alabama.

"We were playing on the computer and next thing you know our world was turned upside down," said Carol Lane. "We heard a loud bang and Kareem goes into the hallway and looks to see what's going on and the look of terror and fear in his face, it was frightening."

Since that day Kareem Lane has been held in the Muscogee County Jail, waiting for his day in court. Tuesday morning opening statements will begin in Judge Bobby Peter's court room.

While some witnesses have died since Burns was stabbed, the case is still expected to move forward, potentially answering the 20-year-old question: who killed Jim Burns and why?

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