BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) – A jury deliberating the sentence for a man convicted of killing a Beaver County couple came back Friday deadlocked on its decision.
Robert Burgess, 37, faced the death penalty for the murders of Richard and Demetria Harper.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Senate Committee Approves Bill To Ban Smoking In Vehicles With Young Children
Burgess was convicted earlier this week of first-degree murder in the deaths of the couple at their home in Beaver Falls following an alleged drug-related dispute six years ago.
The jury was to decide if Burgess would die by lethal injection or spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
But they told the court Friday afternoon after reading all of the evidence and having several discussions for nearly four hours, they could not reach a unanimous decision and were completely deadlocked.
Since the jury was deadlocked, the judge will have no choice but to sentence Burgess to life in prison.
“Obviously, he will spend the rest of his days in prison contemplating the actions that he took that day, seeing that he’ll be sentenced to life without parole,” said Anthony Berosh, the Beaver County District Attorney.
The formal sentencing has been moved to Nov. 26.READ MORE: McKeesport Firefighters Volunteer To Drive Kids To And From School Amid Bus Driver Shortage
“We won the other day when they gave the verdict of guilty. That was good enough for us,” said Bobbiette williams, Demetria’s mother.
Police say Burgess tied up and shot the two, execution style, while their children were locked in another room on June 30, 2008.
The four witnesses called by the prosecution brought many to tears in the Beaver County courtroom, earlier this week. They included the victims’ daughters who were in the house six years ago when their parents or killed.
The girls now 15- and 17-years-old talked about hearing their father crying, hearing gunshots and seeing their parents lying in a pool of blood.
As they cried from the witness stand, several in the court room did the same as well as some jurors.
The defense attempted to show that Devon Shealey, who was sentenced to two life terms in June, made Burgess take part in the murder.
The 17-year-old daughter of the victims said from the stand, “Yeah, my parents smoked weed, and my mom sold it, still that doesn’t mean they should be dead.”MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
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