Marshals arrest man accused of stabbing child to death in Lawrence County

Local News

Two other children said they saw the 43-year-old stabbing the child with a knife while saying, "Die"

UNION TWP., Pa. (WKBN) – A man who authorities say has a lengthy criminal record is now sitting in the Mahoning County Jail. Investigators believe he stabbed an 8-year-old to death in Union Township in Lawrence County.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force arrested 43-year-old Keith Burley along Market Street on Youngstown’s lower south side Tuesday morning.

They got a tip he was wanted in connection with Monday’s homicide of 8-year-old Mark Edward Mason, Jr. and might be hiding out on this side of the state line.

“He sent over a photo to us and a description, and we got our guys together instantly and all met in the area,” Dep. Keith Yauger said. “We were just over there when we spotted him…walking up the street.”

Police said the incident started Monday night in downtown New Castle. They said Burley, a woman and her two young children were in a car when the adults started arguing over cell phones.

Burley started hitting the woman near her eye, causing bruising and swelling, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

They said the woman stopped the car and got out to look for help, but Burley stole the car with the children still in the back seat. Police said he drove to a house on High Street in Union Township.

Two other children in the house told police they saw what they thought was Burley hitting one of the woman’s children outside. Then they saw Burley stabbing that child with a knife, hearing him say, “Die,” while stabbing the victim.

Mark Mason, Jr.’s obituary

At some point, the other child went to a neighbor’s house and asked them to call 911.

“Union Township police showed up and they found a juvenile stabbed and deceased, so that’s what we’re investigating right now,” Trooper James Long said.

Burley is facing homicide, kidnapping and assault charges, as well as a probation violation.

He was released from prison in Pennsylvania in March after serving 20 years for another murder case.

Burley has an extradition hearing set for this Thursday.

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