Daniel Burns was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murder of a police officer. According to court documents Daniel Burns would shoot to death Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Jeff Young during a traffic stop. Daniel Burns would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Daniel Burns 2021 Information
|Name:||BURNS, DANIEL JR.|
|Initial Receipt Date:||06/07/1988|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Daniel Burns More News
According to testimony at trial, the victim, Jeff Young, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, stopped an automobile with Michigan tags that was being driven north on Interstate 75 by Burns. According to Burns’ passenger, Samuel Williams, he and Burns were returning to Detroit from Fort Myers. Prior to making the trip, Williams overheard Burns say that he was going to make a couple of trips to Florida to purchase about $10,000 worth of cocaine. According to Williams, Trooper Young approached the car after pulling them over and asked Burns and Williams for identification. He then returned to the patrol car to use the radio. The highway patrol dispatcher testified that Trooper Young requested a registration check on the Michigan tag and a wanted persons’ check. Williams further testified that Young returned to the vehicle and asked to search it. After searching the passenger compartment, Young asked to search the trunk, which Burns voluntarily opened. According to Williams, Burns and Trooper Young began to struggle after the officer found what “look[ed] like cocaine” in a bank bag that was in the trunk.
Several passersby who witnessed the struggle testified at the trial. According to those witnesses, the struggle continued until the two ended up in a water-filled ditch. At this point, Burns gained possession of Trooper Young’s revolver. Passersby who had returned to assist the officer testified that Young, who was attempting to rise out of the water, warned them to stay away and said, “He’s got my gun.” Young told Burns, “You can go,” and, “You don’t have to do this.” According to testimony of these witnesses, Burns stood over Trooper Young, who had his hands *603 raised, held the gun in both hands, and fired one shot. According to the medical examiner, the shot struck the officer’s wedding ring and grazed his finger before entering his head through his upper lip, killing him. After telling Williams to leave with the vehicle, Burns fled the scene on foot. By the time a fellow trooper arrived to assist Young, he was lying in the water-filled ditch, dead. His shirt had been ripped exposing his bulletproof vest.
Burns was apprehended later the night of the murder. A subsequent search of the vehicle, found abandoned the next day, revealed over 300 grams of cocaine in bags found under the spare tire in the trunk. Burns’ fingerprints were recovered from one of these bags. Cocaine and documents with Burns’ name on them were also found in the bank bag, which had been left on the ground at the scene of the murder.
The jury found Burns guilty of first-degree murder and trafficking in cocaine, as charged, and recommended that he be sentenced to death in connection with the murder. Finding two aggravating factors, one statutory mitigating factor, and various nonstatutory mitigating circumstances, which were considered “not significant,” the trial court imposed the death penalty and sentenced Burns to thirty years’ imprisonment in connection with the trafficking conviction.