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Burke pleads guilty

January 4, 2011

Susan Scherer, left, mother of Tammy Wallis
cries in the courtroom Tuesday.
Wallis was killed when
Jonathan Burke's car hit her.

A Newton man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Jonathan Caleb Burke, 31, of Newton, was charged with reckless driving, felony hit and run and second-degree murder after he hit and killed Tammy Wallis, 29, of Newton. Wallis was killed as she walked to her mailbox in September 2008.

Burke was offered a plea agreement that consolidated his reckless driving and felony hit-and-run charges into the second-degree murder charge.

Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin sentenced Burke to 132-168 months in North Carolina Department of Corrections for the murder charge and an additional 12 months for a driving while impaired charge.

Burke tearfully apologized to Wallis' mother, Susan Scherer, who was in the courtroom Tuesday.

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