Man sentenced 60 years for two counts of attempted murder
Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 24, 2015
The retired Lamar County police officer who was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder in December was sentenced to 60 years in prison yesterday.
In December, the Item reported that Averal Dan Burnett, Jr., 48, was found guilty of hiring someone to murder his wife and stepdaughter. Through the investigation of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Pearl River County law enforcement, it was discovered that Burnett had made a payment for both murders in July.
On Friday, 15th District Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell sentenced Burnett 30 years for one count of attempted murder of his wife, and 30 years for the second count of attempted murder of his stepdaughter, 15th District Attorney Hal Kittrell said.
“In total, Burnett will be serving 60 years in prison,” he said.
After the sentencing, Burnett was immediately transferred to the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff David Allison said.
“We were pleased with the outcome of this case. The jurors have done a good job looking at the evidence and we’re also pleased at the sentence that the judge gave him,” Allison said.
Prior to being charged for two counts of attempted murder, Burnett was arrested last year in Lamar County for a rape charge, Kittrell said.
Allison said the trial for Burnett’s rape charge is set to begin in March at Lamar County.