Columbus defense attorney and former prosecutor Stacey Jackson will represent the man charged with the murder in the fatal 1992 stabbing of Muscogee school superintendent Jim Burns.
Jackson said today that Kareem Lane's family hired him after the 35-year-old Pell City, Ala., man was arrested Monday and waived extradition to Columbus.
Jackson will be Lane's attorney at a Recorder's Court hearing set for 8 a.m. Friday. The defendant will not waive that hearing, so testimony may reveal more details in the 18-year-old case.
"We're not going to waive the hearing," Jackson said. "I'm going to hold a preliminary hearing in the morning."
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Burns was stabbed about 12:20 a.m. Oct. 19, 1992, during a struggle with an intruder in his 620 Broadway home. The wounded superintendent chased the burglar from a second floor bedroom to the front door, where Burns collapsed and bled to death in the doorway.
Minutes later, police stopped and detained Lane, who at the time was a 17-year-old Shaw High School senior. A resident in the 500 block of Front Avenue had reported seeing a man in a gray jogging suit and mask run to a Ford Ranger pickup truck parked facing south on the one-way, northbound avenue, and then drive south toward Fifth Street.
Police soon stopped a truck matching that description on Macon Road. They said Lane was the driver, and in the truck they found gloves, a switchblade knife, an empty knife sheaf, a BB pistol and a hood or mask with eye holes. They questioned Lane all that day, but then released him without charge, and let his family take the truck.
The knife used to stab Burns was found near his body, and investigators say a Pennsylvania laboratory matched DNA from the weapon to a saliva sample they got from Lane.
Lane is being held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail. After Burns' slaying, Lane went on to graduate from Shaw in 1993, and then served in the U.S. Marine Corps. A native of Stone Mountain, Ga., he and his parents, Willie L. and Linda Rochell Lane, were living in the 5900 block of Bertcliff Avenue, in Columbus' Midland area, in 1992.
Lane's mother died in May 2009. Jackson said the father is still living.