(FORT BEND COUNTY) – A 36-year-old Massachusetts man has been sentenced to life in prison after soliciting a hit man to kill his Sugar Land landlord in 2022.
According to Chief Special Crimes Prosecutor Mark Hanna, Andrew Burke attempted to hire a man in June 2022 to shoot his Sugar Land landlord because of a pending eviction proceeding. The man reported the defendant’s request to law enforcement and agreed to become a confidential informant. The informant agreed to meet with Burke while wearing a recording device. During the recorded meetings, the defendant promised to pay the informant for the killing and then threatened to torture the informant if he did not commit the murder.
Additionally, Burke gave the informant a gun to use in the murder. Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Detective Carlos Arredondo led the investigation, resulting in the immediate arrest of the defendant.
While in custody, awaiting trial, Burke committed assaults against jail guards and staff.
Prosecutor Katherine Peterson told the jury during closing statements that “Andrew Burke should remain in prison for as long as he is a danger to the public.” The jury then sentenced Burke to life in prison and the maximum $10,000 fine.
“Law enforcement was able to prevent the senseless murder of a property owner who began proceedings to evict the defendant,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “A life sentence is harsh, but entirely appropriate, considering the defendant’s criminal conduct and continued violence.”
Burke was tried in the 458th District Court before Visiting Judge James H. Shoemake. Solicitation to Commit Capital Murder in this case is first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life, in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Burke was not probation eligible. Assistant District Attorneys Mark Hanna and Katherine Peterson tried the case.