Stewart To Serve 35 Years In Montlake Mountain Murder

Friday, December 6, 2013

Keith Lee Stewart pleaded guilty on Thursday to a murder on Montlake Mountain and was given a 35-year prison sentence.

He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the slaying of 24-year-old Casey Burgiss in July 2012.

It was handled as an Alford Plea in which the defendant admits there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.

The plea averts a trial scheduled for next week.

The prosecution had requested that the jury be taken to visit the scene of the crime should there have been a trial.

According to police, Stewart gave several different stories when he was questioned before finally leading them to the body. The body was hidden in a place known as “Devil’s Pocket,” a sinkhole off of Montlake Mountain that was approximately 600 yards from Stewart’s home.

Detective Dennis Waters said he called Stewart in for questioning after he received several reports stating that Stewart was involved. Detective Waters said that at first Stewart told him that he and Burgiss were taken by three black men and that Burgiss was shot in a parking lot.

After more questioning, Detective Waters said Stewart admitted this story was false. Detective Waters said Stewart then said he and two other men, Jason Doss and Lebron Lewis, lured Burgiss to Devil’s Pocket to rob him.

Detective Waters said that in one version of the story, Stewart claimed that Lewis shot Burgiss, but in another, he said that it was Doss. Doss and Lewis have both denied involvement.

If convicted, Stewart would have faced life in prison. 

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