DeSantis signs death warrant for Brevard man who raped and murdered nurse

Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a death warrant for a Brevard County man who confessed to prosecutors that he was involved in the murder and rape of a nurse during a 1988 burglary into a Melbourne apartment building.

DeSantis signed a warrant for 61-year-old death row inmate James Philip Burns on Thursday, formally warning the director of the Florida State Penitentiary. According to the governor’s letter, the date of his execution is August 3.

Burns, who waived jury rights and represented the lawsuit himself, committed first-degree murder, robbery, and sexual assault with a weapon against 41-year-old Patricia “Patsy” Miller in 2006. 2 and arson. He has been on death row since his conviction.

This action has been upheld or reconsidered by the Florida Supreme Court, state and federal courts of appeals.

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Miller’s murder remained unsolved for a decade until Burns confessed to killing the nurse in a letter to the assistant state attorney in 2005. Prior to that, in 1997, DNA evidence for Mr. Burns, who was already under investigation in the case, was collated, but Miller’s murder remained unsolved for a decade. According to court records, the defendant refused to speak to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Deputy. No charges were filed until an indictment was handed down by a Brevard County Grand Jury.

By 1998, Burns had already been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife, Linda Burns, and was strangled on December 11, 1997. The letter in which Burns confessed to Miller’s murder was sent after Burns converted to Islam. He told prosecutors that he wanted to clear his conscience while fasting during Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar.

“I killed her [Patricia Miller] so [there] There will be no witnesses or charges against me,” Burns wrote in the letter, court documents show.

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Investigators said Burns, who did not know Miller, entered his River Oaks condo through his bedroom window on April 20, 1988.

He then sexually assaulted Miller at knifepoint in the bathroom. According to her court records, her men then attacked her with a hammer and tied her face down to the bed with her shoelaces.Then he set up her room with Miller already dead Court records show the interior was engulfed in fire.

There have been four executions in Florida this year. All by lethal injection.

JD Gallop Criminal Justice/Breaking News Reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or twitter: @JD Gallop DeSantis signs death warrant for Brevard man who raped and murdered nurse

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