Family of Lauren Burk hopeful death sentence will stay for convicted killer

Lockhart convicted of killing 18 year old Lauren Burk

Family of Lauren Burk hopeful death sentence will stay for convicted killer

LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - A vicious murder of an Auburn University student more than 10 years ago is resurfacing today.

Lauren Burk was kidnapped in a dorm parking lot after a man pointed at gun at her. She was later killed by that man, Courtney Lockhart.

Attorneys for Lockhart say they want the death penalty lifted from their client.

While Lauren Burk’s parents are hoping a judge will not overturn Lockhart's sentence.

“Lauren doesn’t leave my mind any of the days since we’ve lost her. I miss her every minute of the day." said Jim Burk, Lauren’s father.

The father of once Auburn University student and Georgia native Lauren Burk. Lauren was kidnapped and murdered back on March 4th, 2008 by Courtney Lockhart.

A jury found Lockhart guilty of capital murder and sentenced the 23 year old Iraq war veteran to life in prison without parole.

However, at Lockhart’s sentencing Judge Jacob Walker used his judicial override to overturn the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to the death penalty.

“It came as a surprise. He went through several appeals and I think he exhausted all of those appeals," Burk told News Leader 9′s Parker Branton.

Burk says he then got word from the Attorney General’s office that Lockhart is using Rule 32 to claim his defense team was not adequate when the trial took place years ago.

Boston, Massachusetts based attorney Aaron Katz is representing Lockhart and said in a statement:

Lauren’s family is hoping justice is served and their beloved daughter will forever be remembered.

“It just doesn’t seem right that he’s still around and my daughter isn’t," said Burk.

The hearing will happen on December 17th. Attorney say it could last more than one day.

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