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A double-slaying in Rineyville and a U.S. Army sergeant convicted at court martial are subjects of a “48 Hours” installment airing Saturday on CBS.
In a one-hour episode titled “Honor and Dishonor,” the show’s team examines the Sept. 11, 2007, shooting deaths of Karen Comer and Tracy Burke and subsequent prosecution of Sgt. Brent Burke, Tracy’s estranged husband who was a military policeman assigned to Fort Campbell, the network said in a news release. The episode offers viewers a “rare look” at the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps judicial system, according to the release.
Last May, a military court found Burke guilty after four civilian trials failed to reach a verdict.
Burke was sentenced to life in military prison.
Correspondent Richard Schlesinger said the “48 Hours” team was drawn to the Burke story because of the “military angle.”
News media typically do not have access to a court martial, he said, and the team began following the Burke case about a year ago, after the conclusion of the civilian trials.
“We have a lot of people who comb through local newspapers,” said Schlesinger, explaining how producers learned of the case.
For the crime show to pick up a story, it must have a unique element — something more to it than a homicide, he said.
In addition to the military connection, Schlesinger said another twist in Burke’s story is the four civilian trials in Hardin Circuit Court.
He said the episode primarily focuses on the military trial but said the civilian trials are a critical part of the story.
The show shot footage in Elizabethtown, Rineyville and Bowling Green, Schlesinger said, and interviewed the families of the defendant and victims.
“They felt quite rightly they had a story to tell,” Schlesinger said.
The team also interviewed JAG Corps attorneys involved in the case, he said, another rare opportunity for news media.
Though the team was unable to interview Burke, Schlesinger said viewers will hear from him.
The show’s local affiliate, WLKY in Louisville, interviewed Burke on camera before his release from Hardin County Detention Center and the station provided “48 Hours” with its interview footage and civilian trial coverage, he said.
“Honor and Dishonor” airs at 10 p.m. EST Saturday on CBS.
Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.