MONROE, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – A North Carolina man has been sentenced to death for the 2019 murder of his teenage daughter.
That’s according to the local prosecutor’s office, which issued a news release Friday.
The Union County District Attorney’s Office says a jury handed the sentence down after about three hours of deliberations following the three-week trial of 35-year-old Joshua Lee Burgess.
Authorities said Burgess killed his daughter in 2019. Zaria Joshalyn Burgess, 15, was found dead inside a home on Hampton Meadows Road in August 2019.
Burgess was also convicted of sexual crimes.
The district attorney said Burgess killed Zaria by slitting her throat after psychologically and sexually torturing her for 22 hours at his home off Airport Road in Monroe.
“This was truly an especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel killing of an innocent child. This case was emotionally taxing for everyone involved,” the prosecutor’s office said in the news release. “We continue to grieve with and pray for Zaria’s mother.”
Authorities said at the time of Burgess’s arrest that he had walked into a sheriff’s office and confessed to the killing.