The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 23, 2013

D.A. files first-degree murder, arson charges

NORMAN — Charges were filed Friday in Cleveland County District Court against Mary Courtney Cheyenne York, 19, and Christopher Cody King, 24, for allegedly killing a Norman man on Feb. 13.

York and King are charged with arson and the first degree murder of Patrick D. Burton, 51. King is also charged with larceny of a motor vehicle.

Police reports indicate that King is believed to have pulled the trigger, but that York is suspected of facilitating the meeting that led to robbery and to Burton’s death. The murder charges are filed as “malice aforethought” or felony murder.

“It prevents them from arguing that, ‘Oh, we were just robbing him, we didn’t mean to kill him,’” District Attorney Greg Mashburn. “It covers both possibilities.”

Mashburn said he does not know if he will file a Bill of Particulars to ask for the death penalty because the crime is still under investigation.

“The Norman Police Department has worked tirelessly,” Mashburn said. “We continue to get more and more information every day.”

At 11 a.m. on Feb. 13, the Norman Emergency Communications Center received the report of a fire at 619 Villa Drive. Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said when firefighters arrived, heavy smoke was coming from a roof vent.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters found Burton, with thermal burns, lying near a bedroom. The body of the family’s dog, Jake, also was discovered in the home.

The Chief Medical Examiner found that Burton died as a result of a gunshot wound prior to the fire being set.

Burton lived, according to neighbors, quietly in his Norman home with his mother, Tina Burton, who was out of town at the time of his death.

The probable cause affidavit filed with the charges Friday states that the house had been ransacked and “multiple items were stolen.” Among the stolen property was the victim’s white 2004 extended cab Chevrolet pickup truck.

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