TORONTO: Convicted killer Andrew “Burnz” Burnett to be sentenced for 2012 Main St. and Kingston Rd. murder
TORONTO – Andrew “Burnz” Burnett vowed to go straight nine years ago to survive the gunfire rampant in his Jane-Finch neighbourhood.
Burnett, a violent drug dealer, survived gun violence but never reached his goal.
He’s now a convicted killer serving a life prison sentence after a jury in April found him guilty of second-degree murder for shooting Cory Campbell as part of a twisted love triangle tragedy in September 2012.
The jury rejected Burnett’s account of self-defence. The jury also spurned the prosecution’s theory that the homicide was a planned, deliberate execution by Burnett, helping his pal Jayna Badger eliminate her boyfriend Campbell at her Main St. and Kingston Rd. building.
Campbell believed Burnett and Badger were lovers.
The getaway car driver, Jeramy Henry, 28, was convicted of manslaughter, received a time served sentence of four years and is now free.
Crown attorney Joanne Capozzi implored Justice Anne Molloy to order Burnett to serve 15 to 18 years before he could seek parole. His lawyer Sean Robichaud is asking Molloy to limit parole ineligibility to 10 to 12 years. Molloy will pass sentence on July 23.
“This murder wasn’t impulsive. Burnett had time to consider it over the course of the day,” said Capozzi.
A gunman who jeopardizes the lives of innocent bystanders by shooting in public must be severely punished, said Capozzi.
Robichaud argued the killing was spontaneous, the fatal combination of machismo and misguided heroism.
Burnett denied having sexual relations with Badger, a single mom who now lives in the U.S.
Burnett explained to the jury that he had packed a firearm for his own protection since he uprooted himself from the Jane-Finch area in 2011. Gun violence was killing or maiming those closest to him.
His brother, Andre, was fatally shot in 2005. And on June 16, 2011 when his best friend, Andrew Stewart, was fatally shot metres away from Burnett’s home and Burnett said “word on the street” was he was the real target.
Burnett had already been a gunshot victim when , at the age of 14 in 2001, he was wounded in the hip while playing basketball.
The jury heard that a little more than an hour before the deadly confrontation between the men, Burnett phoned and threatened to kill Campbell, who armed himself with a knife.
Burnett and Campbell confronted each other in Badger’s apartment hallway.
Burnett testified that Campbell reached for his knife and that’s when he shot Campbell once in the chest.
“I feared for my life. I panicked,” testified Burnett.
Campbell’s demise has devastated his family and his girlfriend Kaitlin McMullin.
“Cory’s murder took everything from me, my security, my innocence,” stated McMullin, whose son Marques, 7, viewed Campbell as a father.
“He was the most precious gift that I have ever received,” wrote his father, Michael Campbell.
Burnett, who was featured on a 2006 episode of the Fifth Estate examining him and two other youths engaged in the dangerous criminal culture of Jane-Finch.
“This could get you killed,” Burnett said on the CBC show.