A now 19-year-old Greene County youth was found guilty by a Morgan County Jury on Oct. 20 of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault in the robbery and shooting death of a Madison man that netted $50.

Dontarious Lamonta Burke was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole plus 20 years in the death of Kentrell Jones, 23, of Madison. Jones was shot and killed on Nov. 27, 2019, while he was leaning against a vehicle on Morgan Circle at approximately 8:30 p.m. Reports at the time of the shooting stated that Jones was shot three times with a 9mm pistol. Burke was 17 years old at the time of the shooting.

The jury requested to review a video tape the state presented as evidence during their brief deliberations. The video, taken from a closed circuit camera near the shooting scene, showed a person talking to Jones, said defense attorney Darel Mitchell, and another person walked to within six feet of Jones and fired three shots at the victim.

Burke’s brother, Damarcus J. Burke, 17, remains incarcerated on the same charges as his older brother and is allegedly the second person in the video. Demarcus Burke was 15 years old at the time of the murder but is being tried as an adult “based on the severity of the charges,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Burks.

Demarcus Burke also faces charges of malice murder, felony murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. Investigators believed Damarcus Burke arranged a meeting between Dontarious Burke and Jones, allegedly to purchase marijuana. Initial reports indicated that a small bag of suspected marijuana was found near Jones’ body.

On Monday, Dontarious Burke, through his public defender Mitchell, filed a motion for a new trial. The motion, filed in Morgan County Superior Court, claims the jury’s verdict is “contrary to evidence and without sufficient evidence to support it.”

“The verdict is decidedly and strongly against the weight of the evidence,” the motion alleges. “The verdict is contrary to law and the principles of justice and equity,” it says. Typically, a motion for a new trial is heard by a superior court judge within 90 days of filing.

Mitchell said he filed the motion to protect his rights to new trial, if the state deems it appropriate. However, Mitchell said he would not be representing Dontarious Burke if a new trial is granted. Mitchell said he has announced his retirement at the end of this year.


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