Desoto man sentenced to life in prison for murder of father

DESOTO COUNTY, Fla.- A man accused of killing his father and severely beating his mother changed his plea from not guilty to no contest, avoiding the death penalty.

50-year-old Karl Burnham was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Burnham beat his father to death with a hammer in Arcadia back in March.

Only WINK News was in the courtroom when he was brought in, sitting in a wheelchair.

His attorney told the court her client’s health has been declining since March.

Prosecutors say Burnham savagely murdered his father George Burnham and beat his mother Joann, then fled in their car.

Burham’s public defender said he did not want to put his family through a trial and decided to plea no contest.

His mother Joann was in the courtroom Tuesday. She survived the brutal attack and would have been called as a witness if it went to trial.

It is still unclear why Burham attacked his parents.

A psychologist testified that Burham has a long history of mental illness. However, Burnham did not want to pursue an insanity defense.

Author: Adam Wright