Coweta Family Remembers Father's Murder One Year Ago

Saturday, February 18th 2012, 10:40 pm
By: News On 6

A Coweta family remembers the man who was the victim of a murder-for-hire plot, one year ago today.

Fifty-three-year-old Arthur Burney was shot in the head -- killed in his own barn. His family says if that weren't tragic enough his wife and daughter were behind the plot.

Burney loved to have fun with his daughters Samantha Edwards and Karen Jefferson.

"He would try anything. Every weekend we'd go four-wheel riding," Edwards said.

"You could talk to him about anything. He was what every little girl wants in a dad. That's what my dad was," Jefferson said.

And that's what made losing him--inside the barn he built--so gut-wrenching.

"Because it's not strangers that we're dealing with. It was people that were supposed to love him," Jefferson said.

Court records show his wife, Patricia Burney, and her teenaged daughter, Michelle, paid Michelle's high school boyfriend to kill Arthur.

It would have been Arthur and Patricia's sixteenth anniversary.

Family members say Patricia wanted the life insurance money, and that Michelle had been fighting with Arthur.

"She was kind of wild. She wanted older boyfriends and wanted to run wild. He was like, ‘No,'" Edwards said.

After it was done, the teenagers went to the mall.

But the rest of the family went to the Wagoner County Courthouse.

"This is where we were a year ago today. This is where we were, getting interview by detectives," Edwards said. "This is where, hopefully, justice will be served."

The family members prayed by candlelight in front of the courthouse Saturday, hoping their stepmother will be punished, something they believe will finally bring some peace to their father's final moments.

"I know that he's in heaven and I know he's watching down on us. And he'll know. And she's sitting there in jail and I hope she knows we're here," Jefferson said.

Patricia Burney's trial begins the week after next at the Wagoner County Courthouse.