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Soldier Pleads Not Guilty To Double Murder


RINEYVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A Fort Campbell soldier was arrested Monday and charged with killing his estranged wife and another woman last month.

Kentucky State Police arrested Sgt. Brent Burke, 29, in the deaths of Tracy D. Burke and her mother-in-law from a previous marriage, Karen D. Comer, Trooper Steve Pavey said.

"I think there was so much circumstantial evidence," Pavey said. "They felt like they had enough to make an arrest."

Burke is charged with two counts of murder, three counts of wanton endangerment, one count of burglary and one count of cruelty
to animals, police said. The last charge stems from a family dog being shot to death.

Pavey said he did not know if Burke had an attorney.

Divorce papers filed by Tracy Burke in May described Burke as
dangerous, violent and on-edge a changed man since his spring return from Afghanistan. The divorce was scheduled to be completed the week Tracy Burke died.

Cathy Gramling, a spokeswoman for Fort Campbell, confirmed Burke
is on active duty and assigned Fort Campbell, a sprawling Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Gramling said there was no immediate decision about any disciplinary action against Burke.

"It would have to wait for the civilian side to take its course before anything would be considered," Gramling said.

The two women were found dead in a home in Rineyville, about 35
miles south of Louisville, after Burke's 9-year-old son called 911,
saying he heard gunfire and the women weren't moving.

The boy called police and said that his mother and grandmother had been killed the night before. The recording of the call was released shortly after the shooting.

"Somebody broke into our house last night and I don't know who it was, but they killed everybody here, except for my sister and my brother and me," the boy told a police dispatcher during the 911 call. "There was a guy with a pistol or some kind of gun and he came in and shot my mother and my grandma."

The boy who called police was one of three children left unharmed in the house. The others were 5 and about 2, police said.

The father of the oldest child is Comer's son, a soldier stationed at Fort Lewis, Wash., Pavey said. Burke is the father of the two younger children.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

UPDATE

Brent Burke was arraigned on the charges against him on Tuesday morning. He pleaded not guilty.


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