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North Carolina jury sentences man to death for assaulting, murdering daughter

Joshua Burgess was sentenced to death for sexually assaulting and killing his 15-year-old daughter. Photo courtesy of the Union County District Attorney's Office
Joshua Burgess was sentenced to death for sexually assaulting and killing his 15-year-old daughter. Photo courtesy of the Union County District Attorney's Office

June 3 (UPI) -- A North Carolina jury handed down a death sentence Friday to a man who sexually assaulted and killed his teenage daughter in 2019, local prosecutors announced.

Joshua Lee Burgess, 35, received the death sentence after the jury deliberated for 3 hours. He was convicted of one count each of first-degree murder, statutory rape and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, and three counts of statutory sex offense.

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The Union County District Attorney's Office said Joshua Burgess killed 15-year-old Zaria Burgess in August 2019 "by slitting her throat after psychologically and sexually torturing her for 22 hours" at his home in Monroe, N.C.

"This was truly an especially heinous, atrocious and cruel killing of an innocent child," a news release by the district attorney's office said. "This case was emotionally taxing for everyone involved. We continue to grieve with and pray for Zaria's mother."

WCNC-TV in Charlotte reported that Joshua Burgess will be housed at Central Prison in Raleigh, where death row prisoners are located.

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