A fifteen-year-old girl named Zaria met an end that no human being should ever experience, and to make matters worse, her rapist and murderer was her own father!
35-year-old Joshua Lee Burgess “psychologically and sexually tortured” her own daughter for 22 hours in 2019. The North Carolina man demonstrated his lack of conscience by brutally raping and murdering his fifteen-year-old Black daughter.
Zaria was living with her biological mother at the time of her death. She did, however, spend the weekend with Burgess. He decided to turn himself into the sheriff’s office after raping and murdering his child.
Now, Burgess has learned his fate. After He confessed to his horrible crime he tortured his daughter for nearly an entire day, raping her repeatedly until he ended her life by slitting her throat. Investigators were sent to his house after he provided his address, where they discovered her mangled body. Burgess was then arrested for the murder of his daughter.
After a three-week trial, according to the Union County District Attorney’s Office, the jury returned to the courtroom with a guilty decision after only three hours of deliberation. It was then up to the judge to put the icing on the cake for the man after Burgess was convicted of raping and killing his child.
The Judge finished it by sentencing Burgess to death:
“This was truly an especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel killing of an innocent child. This case was emotionally taxing for everyone involved. We continue to grieve with and pray for Zaria’s mother,” the attorney’s office said.
Burgess was found guilty by the jury of three statutory sex offenses, one case of sexual exploitation of a juvenile, one count of first-degree murder, one count of statutory rape, and one count of statutory rape.
Burgess was also given a sentence of at least an extra 76 years in prison, in addition to the death penalty.
“It’s just evil. I mean, murder is murder, but to kill your own flesh and blood like this, there’s just no way to explain it other than it’s just an evil crime.” Union County Sheriff Tony Underwood said.
“I think this sends a strong message that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior in Union County. And if you do, we’re gonna do everything in our power to make sure that you are brought to justice,” He added.
However, it’s unclear if Burgess will attempt to challenge this ruling. Burgess’s counsel attempted to have his confession removed from the record at one point during the trial. The jury was able to hear him confess to raping and killing his fifteen-year-old daughter after that request was turned down.
Zaria’s father killed her while she was a sophomore in high school at Monroe High School; she was a member of the dance team and the marching band.
In Raleigh, North Carolina’s Central Prison, Burgess is currently awaiting execution.