Prosecutors call witnesses to stand in Bristolville murder trial

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Day two of the murder trial against Austin Burke wrapped up after several witnesses took the stand for the state.

Those witnesses included a close friend of the victim in the case, Brandon Sample, along with Burke’s current girlfriend.

Burke is accused of shooting and killing 22-year-old Sample in June of 2017. Sample’s body was found a few days later in a wooded area in Bristolville.

In opening statements on Tuesday, Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said witnesses told investigators Burke made Sample get on his knees when he shot him in the head. Becker also said an inmate at the Trumbull County Jail overheard Burke admit to killing Sample.

“At the close of this case, we feel that the presumption of innocence we talked about the other day will be gone,” Becker said.

Burke’s attorneys urged the jury to remember the facts.

“There was a tragedy that happened but sympathy does not fit into our justice system,” said Bradley Olson, Burke’s lawyer.

The state will continue calling witnesses on Wednesday.