BAY COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) -- A 37-year-old man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing a 64-year-old woman who was bound to a wheelchair after suffering a stroke.
The 14th Judicial State Attorney’s Office announced in a June 1 statement that a jury found William Jacob Burks guilty of second-degree murder for the death of Cynthia Black. The jury reportedly deliberated for 20 minutes before reaching their verdict. He had reportedly gotten out of prison about six months before the killing.
According to WMBB-TV, Prosecutor Pete Overstreet argued in court, "He went in that bathroom to a 64-year-old woman, who was disabled, paralyzed, sitting on the toilet, and just started stabbing her."
On Feb. 13, 2021, Bay County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a stabbing call at a residence on Kingswood Road in Southport and found Black suffering from her injuries. EMS personnel transported her to a nearby hospital, where she died.
Around the same time, the Sheriff’s Office received a call about a stolen car on Sandra Grace Road. Then, a resident on Briggs Lane called 911 to report that a man "covered in blood had gotten out of a car and asked them to drive him to a hospital for help."
When the resident reportedly told the man, who ended up being Burks, that he would call 911, Burks reportedly ran off towards the woods. He was subsequently taken into custody on charges of murder and grand theft auto.
According to the State Attorney’s Office, Burks had been on a methamphetamine bender for about five to seven days.
Circuit Court Judge Dustin Stephenson reportedly agreed Burks qualified for a sentencing enhancement, which means he will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Stephenson called the crime an “absolutely senseless killing.”
Burks' girlfriend reportedly worked as Black’s caretaker, the State Attorney’s Office said. Burks, who had been awake for several days straight because of the meth, was making bacon when some grease landed on him. When he went to the bathroom to wash it off, he reportedly saw Black in a handicap-accessible seat and stabbed her, hitting her in the jugular and carotid arteries.