Deliberations under way in Gilbert woman's rape, killing - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Deliberations under way in Gilbert woman's rape, killing

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Posted: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 12:16 pm | Updated: 7:30 am, Wed Dec 15, 2010.

Jurors are deciding the fate of a Mesa man accused of killing a 19-year-old Gilbert woman in 2007.

The Maricopa County Superior Court jury is deliberating whether to convict 29-year-old Jonathan Burns on charges of first-degree murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and weapons misconduct. A decision is expected this week.

Prosecutors say Burns raped and fatally shot Jackie Hartman on their first date on Jan. 28, 2007.

It was nearly a month before police found Hartman’s body buried in the desert near Fountain Hills; her torn clothing was found in a trash bin near Burns’ home.

Burns has maintained his innocence since police arrested him. He did admit having sex with Hartman but says he dropped her off afterward.

If convicted, Burns could face the death penalty.

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