WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The teen accused of killing a 22-year-old from Warren two weeks ago was in common pleas court Tuesday, answering to charges named in his indictment.
Wearing handcuffs and shackles and escorted by sheriff’s deputies, 18-year-old Austin Burke was led into the Trumbull County Courthouse for his arraignment.
Burke pleaded not guilty to the charges he’s facing, including the aggravated murder of Brandon Sample on June 12. He’s also facing two counts of aggravated robbery with firearm specification, one count of tampering with evidence, and two counts of having weapons while under disability,
His bond was also continued on Tuesday.
Sample’s body was found deep in the woods in Bristolville a few days after the murder and his car was found in the woods off the bike path in Niles. He had been reported missing by his family previously.
According to the indictment, Burke killed Sample while he was committing an aggravated robbery.
It says eight days later, Burke robbed the Pizza Joe’s in Cortland.
It was during that investigation that he was arrested and investigators found a gun and money that they believe is related to the crime.
Prosecutors won’t say how the two knew each other before the murder or if the gun police found in the robbery investigation was the murder weapon.
“The Warren Police Department has done a nice job in this case. They’re still sorting out and awaiting on some lab results,” said Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.
Attorney Gary Rich, who has represented Burke’s family for matters in the past, said Burke denied committing any crime.
“Very unfortunate matter. I have represented the family in the past. I don’t know much about the case yet, but he has a right to a fair trial and he’s innocent until proven guilty.”
Burke’s next hearing was set for July 11.