Jury returns Wednesday in trial of Gilbert woman's killer - East Valley Tribune: Gilbert

Jury returns Wednesday in trial of Gilbert woman's killer

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:00 am | Updated: 5:31 pm, Thu Feb 24, 2011.

A Phoenix jury returns Wednesday morning to continue deliberations in the penalty phase of a man found guilty in the 2007 rape and killing of a Gilbert woman.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury returned a guilty verdict in December against 29-year-old Jonathan Burns.

He was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and weapons misconduct.

Jurors are deciding whether Burns will get the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Burns raped and fatally shot Jackie Hartman on their first date on Jan. 28, 2007.

It was nearly a month before police found Hartman's body buried in the desert near Fountain Hills. Police say her torn clothing was found in a trash bin near Burns' home.

Burns has maintained his innocence since being arrested in the case. He did acknowledge having sex with Hartman, but says he dropped her off afterward.

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