OPELIKA, Ala. – OPELIKA, Ala. – Courtney Lockhart talked about a job and personal problems with the Auburn freshman he's accused of kidnapping, robbing and trying to rape in the moments before he shot her, a detective testified Tuesday.
Lockhart, 26, could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder in the March 4, 2008, kidnapping, robbery and attempted rape of 18-year-old Lauren Burk. On Tuesday, the third day of testimony, Phenix City Police Detective Randy Armstrong said he interviewed Lockhart two times on two different days after the slaying.
In one interview, Lockhart said of the night Burk was shot that “this was the end for me and the gun went off,” his statement reads.
The interviews came after Lockhart allegedly led police on a high-speed chase north on Summerville Road after he'd been pulled over in a traffic stop on U.S. 80. After his arrest, he told police that “he was sorry that nobody would help him when he got back from Iraq,” a witness testified Monday.
Armstrong testified that Lockhart waived his Miranda rights and gave statements, which were both written and video recorded.
Lockhart spent the night before Burk's death in the parking lot of an Opelika hospital. It rained that night – a Monday – and he knew he wouldn't have to work his construction job the following day.
He spent the day driving around the Auburn and Opelika area, at times going onto campus. At one point, he backed his vehicle against a fence in a parking lot space to conceal his license tag. He spotted a police car in the area and left, the statement reads.
He again drove around campus, returning to the hospital and then going back to campus at dusk. He parked in the same spot. In a video interview, Lockhart said he was waiting for someone to rob.
“And then, here comes Lauren,” he says.
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