NEW CASTLE, Pa. (TCD) -- A judge sentenced a 47-year-old man to two life sentences in prison for the kidnapping and violent stabbing of his friend’s 8-year-old son four years ago.
Court records show Keith Burley was sentenced to life for first-degree murder and second-degree murder for the death of Mark "Markie" Mason Jr. following his conviction in August.
According to New Castle News, the jurors in Lawrence County reached their verdict in approximately 11 minutes. They also found Burley guilty of two counts of kidnapping with intent to inflict injury and one count of simple assault. Following the reading of the verdict, Markie’s father, Mark Mason Sr., reportedly approached Burley and was restrained by police. Then, Markie’s uncle, Abdou Saada, leaped over the banister and tried to run toward Burley, but he was also held back.
Similar incidents reportedly occurred his sentencing hearing Tuesday, Sept. 19. The New Castle News reports Burley professed his love for Markie’s mom, called her husband a disparaging name, and tried to claim he was innocent.
On July 8, 2019, Burley and Markie’s mother, Maram Ford, got into an argument and he assaulted her and bit her eye. Burley fled in her car while Markie and his brother were still inside. He reportedly drove them to a house in Union Township and stabbed Markie 146 times in front of his younger brother, who testified at Burley’s trial.
Burley reportedly represented himself at the trial.
New Castle News reports Lawrence County President Judge Dominick Motto said at the sentencing hearing, “I think the evidence of guilt was overwhelming.”