Mesa man convicted of killing Gilbert woman - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa man convicted of killing Gilbert woman

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2010 4:22 pm | Updated: 2:55 pm, Mon Feb 28, 2011.

A Mesa man has been convicted in the 2007 rape and killing of a 19-year-old Gilbert woman.

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury returned the verdict Thursday against 29-year-old Jonathan Burns. He was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and weapons misconduct.

The aggravation phase of the trial begins Monday to determine 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 admit having sex with Hartman, but says he dropped her off afterward.

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