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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

Sheriff's Office: 'Justice served'

Jeff Schmucker Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:15 PM

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A homeless man who bound and raped a then-62-year-old woman back in 2010 was sentenced to multiple life sentences on Thursday.

Allen Everett Koonce, 49, received eight concurrent life sentences along with two 15-year sentences stemming from charges of sexual battery while armed with a deadly weapon, one count of kidnapping while armed with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Along with his prison sentences, he was also designated as a dangerous sex offender and predator, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, which in a post on its Facebook page stated "justice was served."

Assistant State Attorney Sonny McCathran agrees.

"That's one less violent sexual predator on our streets," he said. "Those are well-deserved life sentences."

Koonce was arrested in 2010 after the victim — who routinely helped homeless people — traveled to an unoccupied house to pick him up.

Koonce then handcuffed her, beat her and threatened her with a knife and rifle before raping her, according to court records.

She later escaped the home and called law enforcement.

In other court news, a man accused of beating, strangling and burying his father in the yard of their Lake Lindsey home more than a year ago pleaded guilty Thursday.

Christopher Burke, 41, now faces 25 years in prison when he goes back before a judge on Dec. 12.

Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto said the sentence was part of a plea agreement.

"The next court date was scheduled because there are family members from out of state who want to make a statement at the sentencing," Catto said.

On Dec. 16, deputies discovered the body of 61-year-old Raymond Burke. He was buried in 3 feet of dirt and he lay there for about two months. The body was wrapped in a blanket and buried in the yard in proximity to where Burke had previously buried a household pet, detectives said.

Detectives noted they became suspicious after Christopher Burke had drained his father's bank account.

His live-in girlfriend told detectives she witnessed the crime and identified the area in the yard where the victim was buried.

Reporter Tony Holt contributed to this story (352) 544-5271

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