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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Nation/World

Ex-Soldier Convicted Of Murdering Couple

Compiled From Wire Services

A jury on Thursday convicted a former Army private on murder charges in the shooting death in December 1995 of a black couple here in this Army town near Fort Bragg.

The trial of the former private, James Norman Burmeister II, 21, who was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, now enters the sentencing phase. The jury will hear evidence on whether to recommend life in prison or death. Cumberland County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Prosecutors said that the killing of the couple, Jackie Burden, 27, and Michael James, 36, was racially motivated, and that Burmeister and another former soldier charged with murder in the case, Malcolm Wright Jr., were neo-Nazi skinheads who chose the victims at random.

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