SCIOTO COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) — A Trumbull County man was indicted last week on capital murder charges.
On Oct. 24, 25-year-old Austin Burke was indicted on one count of aggravated murder for his involvement in a prison fight at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility that left another inmate dead in August 2023. After the fight was broken up, the other inmate, 65-year-old Ruben Melendez, was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead from what was believed to be trauma to the head, investigators said.
Burke was already serving a sentence for the murder of a Bristolville man in 2017. Trumbull County Judge Andrew Logan sentenced Burke to life in prison with parole eligibility after 47 years for the death of Brandon Sample, 22, in 2017. Judge Ronald Rice also sentenced Burke to 11 years in prison for a shank that officers found inside Burke’s jail cell.
Burke was also convicted for an armed robbery at a Pizza Joe’s location in Cortland in the days that followed the murder of Sample.
The October indictment came with death and repeat violent offender specifications, as Burke allegedly committed the crime while under detention and after being convicted of purposefully killing another previously.
Burke’s arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 22, at the Scioto County court.
Nadine Grimley contributed to this report.