A Las Vegas man who is accused of killing three women between 1978 and 1994 is now facing the death penalty. Nathan Burkett, 63, was the only one of five defendants that a death penalty committee decided to seek capital punishment for after holding a recent panel.
Death penalty committees convene to determine whether prosecutors should seek this punishment. Their meetings are held privately and are off-the-record. In determining whether or not capital punishment is appropriate, they look at a number of things including aggravating factors, whether a jury would also impose the death penalty, and the likelihood that a conviction would stand up after an appeal.
The man is charged with the deaths of Barbara Ann Cox, 22, on April 22, 1978; Tina Gayle Mitchell, 27, on February 20, 1994; and Althea Williams of Los Angeles in 1994. All three deaths were due to strangulation.
Burkett has previously been convicted of manslaughter on two other occasions, one of which included the death of his own mother. In addition, he has been linked to two of his murder victims through DNA evidence. All three of the murders were similar in nature and occurred close to his apartment. In one instance, Burkett was even credited with finding the murder victim’s body.
Nathan Burkett and the other four defendants discussed by the death penalty committee are all currently being held in the Las Vegas jail while awaiting trial. He is currently scheduled to stand trial just over a year from now in March 2014.
If you are in Las Vegas and have a criminal defense case you need help with, please call the Potter Criminal Defense team, we take cases from petty theft to homicide representation.