Accused in shooting death of officer Ciara Burton faces death row – WHIO TV 7, WHIO Radio | Media Pyro


RICHMOND – The man who shot and killed Richmond Police Officer Sierra Burton earlier this year is now facing a murder charge.

Phillip Lee, 47, of Richmond, was previously charged with attempted murder, drug and firearms charges. On Friday, prosecutors filed an amended indictment charging Lee with murder.

Prosecutors filed documents Friday seeking the death penalty if Lee is convicted.

Newly, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge issued a gag order barring anyone directly involved in the case, including Burton’s family, from speaking publicly about it.

>> K-9 ‘Breve,’ partner of Officer Sierra Burton, retired from Richmond Police Department

Lee is accused of shooting Burton, 28, during a traffic stop on Aug. 10.

Wednesday when officers with the Richmond police narcotics unit operating near the 400 block of North 17th Street saw Lee, who they knew was a drug offender, on a motor scooter, the affidavit of probable cause said. Officers saw Lee go down an alley and speak briefly with a man in a garage.

NewsCenter 7 previously reported that “after observing a high traffic stop at the detached garage,” members of the narcotics unit believed a drug deal might have taken place and ordered a traffic stop on Lee.

N. The traffic stop took place in front of Lee’s apartment on 12th Street, and a Richmond police K9 officer was called to the scene, court records indicate. That officer was Sierra Burton. Once at the scene, Burton’s dog indicated the presence of drugs on the scooter.

During the stop, Lee pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Burton and Richmond Officer Austin Adams. Burton was shot once in the head and Adams “narrowly missed the head shot,” the affidavit states.

Burton was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where she spent the next three weeks. She was taken off life support on September 1 and transferred to a hospice in Richmond on September 3. She succumbed to her injuries on September 18.

>> Accused in shooting of Richmond officer extradited to Indiana

Lee then fled the scene. Soon after, Lee and Richmond police engaged in a “gunfight” as he tried to run into his apartment. He was shot dead by the police on the front porch of the apartment.

Indiana State Police investigated the scene and found a black Ruger Max 99mm handgun they say Lee used near his porch. It had a 10-round magazine, records show.

A search of Lee’s scooter revealed seven syringes, two bags of suspected methamphetamine, one bag of suspected cocaine, and one bag of suspected heroin.

Lee was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for his injuries. He was released from the hospital on September 10 and flown back to Indiana a few days later.

Lee’s jury trial is set to begin Dec. 27, online court records show.


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