ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Cedric Burton

Burton: ‘I know I didn’t murder this man’

Six days after tanking a plea deal by professing his innocence, a Spokane man who drove the suspected gunman from a murder in January pleaded guilty to four felonies but maintained he played no role in the gang-related slaying.

“In my heart, I know I didn’t murder this man or help murder this man,” said Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton.

Burton, 23, said he knew the victim, John S. Williams, “personally.”

“He was a nice guy to me, too. He was real cool,” Burton said. “…I do feel sorry for him.”

He lamented the lifestyle that leads to shooting deaths like Williams’.

“I’m from Cali. I see it constantly, everyday,” Burton said.

He said he felt Williams’ family’s pain because people close to him have been murdered, too. He mentioned his cousin, Aaron Bascomb, who was shot to death in Los Angeles in April.

“I know the severity of what you have to deal with this,” Burton said to the members of Williams’ family who sat in the courtroom. “I’ve lost so many people I grew up with…We go through it constantly down there.” 

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese approved Burton’s plea deal, which sentenced him to 60 months in prison. He’ll serve the sentence the same time as a 63-month sentence for a second-degree assault conviction handed down by a jury last month.

He pleaded guilty today to harassment, bail jumping, and two counts of rendering criminal assistance. The deal reduced robbery and assault charges to rendering (Burton drove a man who robbed and assaulted a woman from the scene) and dropped an additional count of bail jumping. The harassment charge stemmed from text messages Burton sent to the mother of his 14-month-old daughter.

Burton said his child is his impetus for resolving his criminal charges quickly.

“Being deprived of your freedom, it teaches you a lot,” he said.

Burton has a previous assault conviction for a 2005 gang shooting in which Demetrius Route was convicted of murder and Deric D. Burton was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault.

That conviction coupled with his assault conviction from last month makes two strikes for Cedric - one more and he’ll be sent to prison for the rest of his life. His public defender, Mark Hannibal, said Burton understands that.

“He is a young man,” Hannibal said. “He does have a few goals in his life; one is to continue his education.”

Burton said he trusts in God and said though he’s made a lot of mistakes, “Regardless of what’s on my record, I’ve never intentionally assaulted anyone or robbed anyone.”

“I was becoming a victim to the lifestyle I was getting myself into,” he said. “A second of freedom, a second with my daughter, it’s worth more than a lifetime of bondage.”

Burton acknowledged Williams’ supporters as he was taken from the courtroom back to jail.

“God bless you guys,” he said.

Williams’ mother, Cindy, said she appreciated Burton’s kind words about her son and said she isn’t sure Burton even knew who’d been killed when he drove the alleged shooter, Edward L. “TD” Thomas, from the party at 5405 N. Crestline Jan. 17.

Thomas, who was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for John Williams’ slaying and the attempted slaying of his son. Police say Thomas had a gun pointed at him by a gang member associated with Williams and felt he needed to retaliate.

Past coverage:

June 4: Seven face charges in shooting death

May 21: Lawyer: Fugitive was in Cali for cousin’s funeral

March 9: Homicide case not a ‘simple’ investigation

Plea deal halted after suspect complains

A Spokane gang member set to plead guilty today to several felonies changed his mind at the last minute and is now set for trial.

Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton (right), accused of helping a murder suspect avoid arrest, told Judge Tari Eitzen that he was going to plead guilty because “I don’t want to jeopardize any more time,” but then insisted “I’m not guilty of any of these allegations at all, and I know I can beat 90 percent of these allegations.” 

Eitzen questioned him repeatedly about his intention and asked if he wanted to plead guilty because he was worried about what would happen if he went to trial (the basis for an Alford plea.)

Burton, 23, said he wasn’t worried about a trial.

“I don’t think I can be found guilty,” Burton said. “I know I’m not guilty of any of these crimes.”

Burton was to plead guilty to harassment, bail jumping and two counts of rending criminal assistance, one in connection to the Jan. 17 murder of John S. WIlliams.

The deal would have dropped first-degree robbery and second-degree assault charges, as well as an additional bail jumping charge.

Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla was to recommend Burton receive 5 years in prison, which he would serve concurrently with a 63-month sentence imposed last month after a jury convicted him of second-degree assault. The charges stemmed from Burton skipping a court hearing, threatening to kill the mother of his child, helping a man who robbed and assaulted a woman escape the home, and for helping murder suspect Edward L. “TD” Thomas after Thomas (left) allegedly shot Williams to death in January.

Burton said Cipolla’s version of the events was wrong and said he missed court because he had a flat tire.

“My speedy trial rights have been violated…just a lot of things,” Burton said. “I don’t feel I have been treated fairly.” Burton said he had a 15-month-old daughter and was “already off the scale with all these strikes, you know what I mean?”

Etizen replied that she didn’t.

“It really truly doesn’t matter to me,” Eitzen said. “We can halt this process and you can go to trial.”

The judge did just that, sending the case to Judge Michael Price to be assigned a trial date.

Burton was taken back to the Spokane County Jail, where he’s been since early May after being arrested in Los Angeles. He said he’d left the state to attend his cousin’s funeral.

Burton is among six men facing charges for the Jan. 17 fatal shooting outside 5405 N. Crestline. His cousin, 33-year-old James C. Henderson, pleaded guilty to riot on Friday and was credited for 102 days served in jail.

Thomas, the alleged triggerman, still is at large. Anyone with tips on his location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Suspects in gang murder headed to prison

Two cousins charged in a gang-related mucrder are headed to prison on unrelated convictions.

Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, 23, was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Friday for second-degree assault.

Eric “Smalls” Burton, Jr., 25, also was sentenced recently to 20 months in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Cedric Burton had been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for trying to run over two men in a downtown Spokane parking lot in November, but a jury convicted him of only assault, which is his second strike. A co-defendant, Charles Willy Jackson, is charged with second-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) after police say he shot out the back window of the men’s Hummer. His trial is set for September.

Eric Burton received the low-end of the standard sentence for his crack cocaine conviction, which stemmed from him having 26 baggies of the drug when Spokane police stopped him last summer.

Authorities have said he may face federal charges for allegedly possessing the gun used to kill John S. Williams on Jan. 17.

Both cousins have convictions related a 2005 gang murder, and both still are charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance in connection with Williams’ murder in January.

The accused triggerman, Edward “TD” Thomas, still is at large.

Past coverage:

June 3: Seven charged in January gang murder

May 21: Lawyer: Fugitive was in Cali for cousin’s funeral

May 3: Warrant issued for accused would-be killer

2 plead innocent to murder-related charges

Two men pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges related to a fatal gang-related shooting in January.

James C. Henderson, 33, is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance and conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, though his public defender, John Stine, said the case is “pretty thin.”

Henderson “was no where near this crime when it occurred, he’s not involved in it in anyway,” Stine said. “Mr. Henderson was at home - he actually has several police officers as alibi witnesses.”

Henderson is named as a co-conspirator with alleged triggerman Edward “TD” Thomas, (left) who is a fugitive wanted on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder for a Jan. 17 shooting that killed John S. Williams.

Stine asked for hHenderson’s bond to be reduced to at the most $5,000, but Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza noted Henderson’s bail jumping conviction and kept it at $100,000.

Also arraigned Wednesday was Henderson’s cousin, Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, (right)who pleaded not guilty to first-degree rendering criminal assistance. His bond remains at $100,000.

He’s also charged with attempted murder and bail jumping for an alleged incident in a nightclub parking lot last fall.

Henderson and Burton join Christopher J. “Baby Boy” Route, 24, as the only incarcerated suspects charged in the murder.

Their cousin, Eric “Smalls” Burton, Jr., pleaded not guilty to first-degree rendering criminal assistance last month and is out on bail.

Accused killer Thomas still is at large, as are Cedric Burton’s brother and Route’s cousin, John E. Burton, 27; and Marc A. “Bookie” Carter, who are accused of first-degree rending criminal assistance.

Anyone with information on the three is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online. Tipsters don’t have to leave their name to collect a reward but should leave a code name or number.

Past coverage:

June 24: Witness in gang murder agrees to secret deal

June 3: Seven charged in January gang murder

March 9: Homicide case ‘not a simple investigation’

Murder charges filed in gang slaying

Seven people have been charged in connection to a Jan. 17 gang-related slaying in Hillyard.

Edward L. “TD” Thomas (right) is wanted on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder after police say he shot John S. Williams in the face with a Ruger mini 30 rifle and fired shots at another man.

Wanted on conspiracy and rendering criminal assistance charges are Marc A. “Bookie” Carter, John E. Burton, 27; and Christopher J. Route, 23.

Already in jail on the charges are cousins Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, 23; Eric “Smalls” Burton, Jr., 25; James C. Henderson, 33. The three appeared in District Court today via video feed from the jail today.

Cedric Burton has been in jail since early May, when detectives arrested him in Los Angeles. His public defender said he had traveled south to attend the funeral of his cousin, Aaron D. Bascomb, a Long Beach 22-year-old who was shot and killed in Inglewood, Calif. April 9.

Lingering hostility between two gangsters who have a child with the same woman may have been what sparked the most recent fatal shooting.

Read my full story on the murder investigation here.

Pictured above, from left to right, first row: Thomas, Carter and Route. Second row: Cedric Burton, Eric Burton and Antonio Cook, who is charged with illegally posessing the murder weapon. Pictures of John Burton and James Henderson were not available.

Past coverage:

March 9: Homicide case ‘not a simple investigation’

Felony warrant issued for missing gangster

A man named in an ongoing homicide investigation is wanted on an escape from community custody charge.

Edward L. “TD” Thomas, 24, hasn’t been located by his Department of Corrections supervisor since on or about Jan. 19, according to Superior Court documents filed last month.

Now he’s wanted on two felony charges of escape from community custody and bail jumping. The bail jumping allegedly occurred in June 2009 on a first-degree robbery and second-degree assault case.

Thomas is believed to have been at the party on Jan. 17 in which John S. Williams was shot to death.

One witness told detectives that Williams was shot to death after he punched out a passenger-side window in a car in which Thomas was riding, according to court documents. “His whereabouts are currently unknown,” prosecutors wrote of Thomas.

Thomas has a felony conviction for riot resulting from an incident two years ago in which a woman was attacked and her purse stolen at 6128 N. Wiscomb.

Also charged in that case is Cedric E. Burton, who remains in jail.

Thomas and Burton were charged in a gang-related murder in 2005. Both have been named in documents related to the ongoing Williams’ murder investigation.

Lawyer: Court mishap led to fugitive status

A man wanted by Crime Stoppers since December was released from jail on his own recognizance after a judge said notification of his arraignment had been mailed to California instead of his Spokane address.

Charles Willy Jackson, 24, is accused of shooting out the back window of a Hummer during a confrontation in in a parking lot across the street from Club Uno, 515 W. Sprague Ave., early Nov. 22. He’s charged with second-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine.)

A second suspect, Cedric E. Burton, is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly trying to run over two men, Bradley Hollibaugh and Jacob Schreiber, just before the shooting.

A warrant was issued for Jackson’s arrest after he didn’t show up for an arraignment in December. But Jackson didn’t know he’d been charged, said his public defender, Ed Carroll, in court Tuesday.

Jackson turned himself in as soon as he realized there was a warrant, Carroll said. Jackson’s girlfriend is pregnant and he doesn’t plan on leaving Spokane, where he’s been since his arrest.

“Everyone thought” he’d gone to California, Carroll said. Prosecutors asked for $25,000 bond, but Judge Ellen Kalama Clark released Jackson on his own recognizance after noting that his arraignment notice had been sent to California instead of his Spokane address.

His standard release conditions prohibit him from contacting Burton, who remains in jail after being arrested in Los Angeles May 4. He was back in court Monday on a new harassment charge and a new warrant for a 2008 robbery case and got $50,000 bail for each charge. The robbery charge stems from when Burton allegedly attacked a woman and stole her purse inside 6128 N. Wiscomb on April 3, 2008.

Burton’s public defender, Mark Hannibal, said the warrant was filed after a judge rejected a $1.5 million bail request from prosecutors.

“It looks like, your honor, they were grumpy at the court at Mr. Burton’s expense,” Hannibal said.

Lawyer: Fugitive was in Cali for cuz’s funeral

A Spokane man accused of trying to run two men over with his car last fall left the state to attend his cousin’s funeral in the Long Beach/ Compton area of California.

But Cedric E. Burton, 23, wasn’t allowed to leave the county, and he never sought permission to do so.

Now he’s back in Spokane County Jail after being arrested in Los Angeles County.

His public defender, Mark Hannibal, said Thursday that Burton had a round-trip plane ticket that would have put him back in Spokane in time for his next court appearance on attempted murder charges.

“It was a family-type emergency,” Hannibal said.

A warrant was issued for Burton’s arrest after his girlfriend told police he’d assaulted her and threatened to take their young daughter to California.

Prosecutors said that violated Burton’s release condition on the attempted murder charges from last fall.

Judge Ellen Kalama Clark, saying she was “real concerned about Mr. Burton’s behavior,” increased Burton’s bail on two counts of bail jumping from 10,000 to $30,000. She also increased his bail on the attempted murder charges to $200,000 from $100,000. That’s in addition to a new harassment charged filed today that includes a $100,000 bond.

Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz, sitting in for Mark Cipolla, had requested $1.5 million bail. Shortly after Clark rejected that request, prosecutors filed an additional charge against Burton relating to an alleged violation connected to a 2008 case. He’ll be back in court on that charge, along with the new harassment charge, today.

Hannibal said prosecutors “overcharged” Burton for the alleged incident last fall.

“I’m a little bit surprised that the state’s charged that as two count of first-degree attempted murder,” he said.

Court documents show police investigated the incident as a second-degree assault case.

A second suspect, Charles Willy Jackson, still is wanted. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to his arrest.

Police say Burton, who has convictions for drug dealing and second-degree assault, is a gang member and was present at a party in January in which John S. Williams was shot to death, according to court documents related to theongoing investigation. Burton’s previous conviction for second-degree assault stems from a fatal gang shooting in 2005. The list of defendants in that case includes at least four men involved in the ongoing Williams murder investigation.

Past coverage:

May 3: Warrant issued for accused would-be killer

Warrant issued for accused would-be killer

A Spokane gang member accused of trying to kill two people by running them over with his car last fall is wanted by police after an alleged domestic dispute.

Police say Cedric E. Burton, 23, assaulted his girlfriend on April 13 and threatened to take their young daughter to California so she “would never see her again,” according to court documents filed in Superior Court.

Prosecutors say that incident violated the terms of Burton’s release from jail on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, and Crime Stoppers issued a reward on Friday for tips that lead to his arrest.

Burton is accused of trying to run over two men, Bradley Hollibaugh and Jacob Schreiber, in a parking lot across the street from Club Uno, 515 W. Sprague Ave., early Nov. 22. Hollibaugh and Schreiber got inside a 2007 GMC Hummer, which then had its back window shot out by a man who was with Burton in a Chevrolet Camaro, Charles Willy Jackson, according to police.

 Jackson, 23, (right) who told police he lived in Lancaster, Calif., has been wanted since mid-December on charges of second-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

Burton, posted $7,500 on Dec. 14 after about two weeks in jail, last gave his address as 5914 N. Ash in Spokane. He has felony convictions for delivery of controlled substance and second-degree assault.

Police say Burton is a gang member and was present at a party in January in which John S. Williams was shot to death, according to court documents related to the ongoing investigation.

In January 2009, Burton was arrested with another gang member, Eric Burton, who’s charged with possessing the gun that killed Williams.

Also arrested in relation to that stop was Edward L. Thomas, 24, who detectives say fled to California shortly after Williams’ murder and hasn’t been located. One witness told detectives that Williams was shot after he punched out a passenger-side window in a car in which Thomas was riding, according to court documents.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help arrest Jackson and/or Cedric Burton. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or submit tips online here.

UPDATE: Cedric Burton was arrested May 4 in Los Angeles County.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Sirens & Gavels.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here