Remembering Jason Burgeson
and Amy Shute
News | Their Story | Jason | Amy | Poems & Essays | GuestGear | Contact Me
4/5/05 -- A date has been set for the 2005 annual Jason Burgeson Memorial Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament. This year it will take place on Saturday, June 11 at the Lakeville Country Club -- If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please email me, and I will be happy to email you the appropriate forms. Or check back in about a week, and I will try to have the forms, as well as other information, available on the site.
2/25/05 -- Hi everyone. I just wanted to post a quick note to let you know I haven't forgotten about the site. My life is finally settling down a little, so I hope to do a complete site makeover during the spring (mostly because the current design is from my college days, and I am now capable of much more!). I'll also try to get another guestbook up, so you can all leave your special thoughts as the 5 year anniversary approaches. Keep checking back...
9/09/04 -- NO MORE ADVERTISEMENTS! YAY. And . . drumroll please . . I also now own http://www.burgesonandshute.com/, so you don't have to remember the tripod address anymore (but you can still use it if you desire). More exciting changes to come as soon as I have free time . . .
8/16/04 -- Kenneth day was sentenced today to four consective life terms for his role in the murders of Jason and Amy, ending a 4 year ordeal for Jason and Amy's families and friends. This sentence comes on top of a 45 year sentence he is serving on unrelated charges.
The healing process can finally begin...
(From Boston.com) ''The crime committed defies description,'' said Superior Court Judge Joseph Rodgers at Kenneth Day's sentencing. ''These are the most barbaric, senseless, merciless, horrific, dehumanizing crimes that this court has been exposed to in my 30 plus years as a judge.''
7/1/04 - The 2004 Jason Burgeson Memorial Golf Tournament information has been released. This year's tournament will take place Saturday, August 21. Registration begins at 1:30pm and tee-off is at 2:00pm.
6/10/04 - KENNETH DAY FOUND GUILTY ON ALL 9 CHARGES! After deliberating for less than 5 hours over two days, Kenneth Day was found guilty on nine counts of murder, carjacking, robbery and conspiracy. He could face life in prison. Jason and Amy's parents were both in court to hear the verdict.
6/1/04 - Due to personal reasons, it'll be some more time before I can get this site cleaned up and completely updated, but I wanted to let you all know that the state trial for the fifth man, Kenneth Day, began today. According to the Providence Journal (www.projo.com), Gregory Floyd, the shooter, today refused to testify at Day's trial. "'It doesn't matter at this point,' Floyd said when a prosecutor asked him if he knew why he was in court." For the most up-to-date information on the trial, please visit the Providence Journal website. (I will try my best to post updates here, but may fall a few days behind.)
2/2/04 - I'd like to mention that Kellie Surdis (Jason's sister) has been recognized as a Community Hero by the Boston Celtics for all her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Jason Burgeson Scholarship fund. Congratuations and thank you for all your hard work, Kellie!
Additionally, The Burgesons have announced they plan to hold another scholarship golf tournament this summer. The date is set for Saturday, August 21st at 2:00 pm. Stay tuned for details.
8/31/03 - According to the New Bedford Standard Times (www.s-t.com), Kenneth Day was indicted by the state of Rhode Island on Friday, August 29, 2003 on nine charges stemming from the murders of Jason Burgeson and Amy Shute. Day had previously been aquitted on federal charges for these murders.
The families of Jason and Amy are pleased that the case is finally proceeding. "The longer it drags on, the more painful it is. It's really taking a toll on us, dragging on, and on, and on." (Mr. Burgeson).
As Amy's grandmother said "It will be a relief to get all of this over with because every day that they bring something up it is like going back to day one. Getting this trial over with, it's like maybe we can start with day two."
Day will be arraigned on September 17, 2003 in Superior Court.
Kenneth Day was the only one of the 5 men involved in the murders to plead "not guilty." The other 4 men are serving sentences ranging from 30 years to life in Federal Prison.
Day is currently serving 45 years on unrelated charges.
8-20-03 - The Jason Burgeson Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Sunday, August 17, 2003 at the Lakeville Country Club. Jason's sister reports that, after a rough count, we made a profit of about $11,000 for the fund! Thank you to all of our sponsors and to the golfers that braved the rain to help us raise money. More details and results to come . . .
11-13-02 Raymond Anderson was sentenced today to 30 years in prison for his part in the June 2000 murders. Judge Lagueux told the courtroom he was sorry, but the sentence had to reflect the fact that Anderson was the least culpable of the five men and had cooperated substantially with authorities. Anderson may cut 4.5 years off his sentence depending on good behavior.
Family and friends were obviously shocked by this news. "Judge Lagueux did what he thought was right. But thirty years is not enough," Carol Shute, Amy's mother, told reporters. "It's not enough."
There is still no word on when the state will take up charges on Kenneth Day, the one man of the five to plead "not guilty."
11-7-02 Sammie Sanchez today became the third of the five men involved in Jason and Amy's deaths to be sentenced to life in federal prison. (The federal system does not have parole.) After several hours of testimony from a forensic psychiatrist about a series of disorders affecting Sanchez, Judge Lagueux announced that it was "hogwash," and he again said he would give the death penalty if it were in his power to do so.
10-8-02 Harry Burdick was sentenced today to life in (federal) prison for his part in the carjacking murders of Jason and Amy. During his statement, Burdick's lawyer mentioned that this will leave Burdick's two small children without a father. Mrs. Shute later answered by saying, "He should have thought about his two kids that night." Harry Burdick, like Gregory Floyd, also showed remorse for his actions (once again, not that it really matters). He told the court that he does not belong on the streets and that he does not know how to say sorry to the victims' families.
9-10-02 Gregory Floyd, the admitted shooter, was sentenced today to life in (federal) prison without the possibility of parole. The judge in the case said he would have imposed the death penalty had he been able to. Jason and Amy's mothers both gave victim impact statements, during which they each spoke to Floyd directly to let him know how he has torn their families apart. Floyd did show remorse for his actions (not that it matters), and said he, himself, believes he actually deserved the death penalty (which he avoided by pleading guilty).
9-5-02 Kenneth Day was sentenced today on the unrelated robbery and assualt charges he was found guilty for earlier this summer. He received a total of 80 years, 45 years served (because some of the years are to be served concurrently). Day is technically eligible for parole after 1/3 of that sentence, but because of the severity of the crime he will most likely not be considered for parole until he serves 2/3 of the sentence. Therefore, for these robbery charges alone, he will serve between 30 and 45 years. With whatever he gets for Jason and Amy's case on top of that, Kenneth Day will most likely never be a free man again. There is no word yet on when the state will take up Jason and Amy's case against him.
8-11-02 I have finally added a couple of pictures to the site. More pictures (of both Jason AND Amy) are on their way soon, I promise! Additionally, the Burgeson family had a large yard sale July 27th and 28th to benefit Jay's scholarship fund. Thanks to all who were able to help out. We made over $6,000 for the fund! The Burgeson's neighbor, Joe, won the picnic table raffle, which made for an easy delivery!
7-16-02 Below is the latest development on Kenneth Day. The Burgeson and Shute families attended Day's latest trial (see below), and there were plenty of tears mixed with smiles when the verdict was read.. In fact, family and friends of Jason and Amy outnumbered the family and friends of the actual victims in these two cases. As Mrs. Burgeson said, "it was good to see him found guilty of something."
(summarized using several newspaper articles and television news stories) Today Kenneth Day was found guilty of two robberies unrelated to the murders of Jason Burgeson and Amy Shute. There were seven charges total, ranging from conspiracy to robbery and assault. Day smiled and clapped sarcastically as the jury's decisions were read. During closing arguments, Day's lawyer argued that his client was only fingered in these two cases AFTER he was arrested for the murders of Jason and Amy. He also argued there were too many discrepancies between witness testimonies, therefore increasing the chance they were wrong in identifying Day as their attacker. Prosecutors replied that these victims did not finger Day "for the sake of pointing." There are pictures of criminals in the news all of the time, but they fingered Kenneth Day because he was their man. Additionally, prosecutors argued that witness testimonies often have discrepancies, especially when victims are beaten with baseball bats or have guns to their heads, as the victims in these cases did. But these victims all agreed on one important fact; Kenneth Day attacked them. And the jury agreed. A motion for a new trial was denied, and Day will be sentenced in September.
(summarized using several newspaper and television news outlets) Yesterday, Judge Ronald Lagueux aquitted Day of all federal charges. He says the prosecution did not prove there was intent at the time of the carjacking to kill or impose severe bodily harm on Jason and Amy, and therefore it should not be in federal court. The jury was not present when the decision was announced, and several jurors gasped when then judge brought them in and told them. Judge Legueux added that he hopes Day does get prosecuted in state court for robbery, kidnapping, and murder. Friends and family were in shock yesterday after the announcement. The state has vowed to charge Day soon, but the trial may not start for another year, at which time the families will have to relive the horrors of the past two weeks. (Day is still in jail right now, on unrelated robbery charges.)
Raymond Anderson, an admitted accomplice to the murders, took the stand Friday and today. He claims Day invited him out the night of June 8th, and he (Anderson) understood the invitation as plans to rob someone. Day's lawyer used similar tactics against Anderson as he did with Floyd. He pointed out inconsistancies between Anderson's statements to paint him as a man who is simply trying to lose some jail time by plea bargaining. (Associated Press)
According to the Associated Press, for the past two days Gregory Floyd, the admitted gunman, has taken the stand. He described in detail how the night proceeded, from planning to play pool with his friends to having several robbery attempts ruined by security guards and the appearance of potential targets' friends. He explained how him and his friends looked for targets who looked like they had money, and just about when they were about to give up, they drove past Jason and Amy, and Kenneth Day shouted "ooh, ooh , look" and pointed at them. Floyd claims that, once at the golf course, Day told him to kill Jason and Amy because "they had seen his face." He says he felt numb when he shot them, and when asked by prosecutors why he did it, he replied "I can't answer that." Day's lawyer next tried to discount Floyd's testimony by saying that his initial statements were completely different from current ones, so the court cannot trust him because he is a liar. Floyd admits he lied at first because he did not want to take credit for shooting Jason and Amy, and he says he did not mention Day in his first statements because he was trying to protect Day, who was "like a brother." He says now he wants to tell the truth so justice can be done and so the families can begin to heal. (Side Note: Gregory Floyd does not have a plea bargain with the police. He will still receive life in federal prison without parole despite testifying at this trial.)
Court resumed today. According to the Associated Press, several police detectives, officers, and medical examiners testified in court today. Among them was patrolman John Lough, who was one of the last people to see Jason and Amy alive. He had seen Jason and Amy standing near Jason's vehicle in the early hours of June 9th, 2000, and he later saw the same Explorer with a black man in the driver seat. He says he did not pull the car over because the scene was not unusual, as many clubs were letting out at the time. He did not know that Jason and Amy were in the back seat. Brett Mills, a forensic examiner for the FBI's crime laboratory in Washington DC, also testified. He says the bullet fragments taken from Jason and Amy's skulls match the markings from the gun found by investigators in Day's bedroom.
On the first day of trial, jurors were shown graphic photos of the crime scene. Prosecutors called up several witnesses, including friends and family of Jason and Amy, who painted the picture of two college students who were home for the summer, enjoying carefree days with their friends. Day's lawyer, in his opening statement, did not deny that his defendant was present that night, but he claims Day was not involved in the actual murders. The prosecutors, on the other hand, say Floyd would not have brought his gun had Day not told him to. Court will resume on Tuesday.
Jury selection finished yesterday, and the trial of Kenneth Day will start today. Today is also Jason's 22nd birthday. Please take an extra moment today to say a few extra prayers for Jason and Amy and their families.
Jury selection starts on Monday (February 11) for the trial of the last man, Day.
The trial has been postponed until mid-February
The fifth man, Day, is scheduled to go to trial in mid-January, 2002.
Mrs. Burgeson emailed me yesterday with some bad news. The Federal Government has decided to accepted alleged shooter Gregory Floyd's guilty plea in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. There is now one man, Day, left who has not plead guilty, and Ashcroft has decided not to pursue capital punishment for him.
8/24/01 - Gregory Floyd, THE ALLEGED SHOOTER, is now the fourth of the five men to plead for his life. He is willing to plead guilty, IF AND ONLY IF he will not get the death penalty. Jason and Amy's families were already outraged by Sanchez's plea not long ago and now are horrified at these new developments. Kellie, Jason's sister, told news reporters yesterday "Jason and Amy begged for their lives, and they were killed anyways." She also said to them "It's not like these are innocent people here. They are pleading GUILTY and getting lesser sentences for that."
US Attorney General Ashcroft may make his decision within the next few weeks. (NOTE: These quotes may not be perfect because they are quotes I remember from last night's news)
My heart goes out to the families and friends of Jonathan Rizzo, 19, of Kingston, MA, Philip McCloskey, 69, of Taunton, MA, and Robert Whitney, 58, of Concord, NH. These three innocents were brutally murdered during a week long string of carjackings and house break-ins spanning several New England states. A suspect, Gary Sampson, 41, of Tamworth, NH, is now in custody. He was arrested in Vermont after a botched carjacking. Please keep these three men and their families and friends in your thoughts.
Samuel Sanchez has officially pleaded guilty, and because of this he will avoid the death penalty. Friends and family of Amy and Jason are not pleased, as they wanted to see him go to trial.
Jen L found an article in the Brockton Enterprise the other day saying that Sammie Sanchez is now trying to strike a plea bargain. (ie: The man who for the last year has been saying that he wasn't there and that he doesn't even know the other four men is now TRYING to put in a guilty plea in exchange for avoiding the possibility of the death penalty!) Because the police do not need Sanchez's testimony, he most likely will not be granted any leniency, and as far as I can find, there have been no decisions yet on this offer to plea bargain. I'll let you know when I hear anything else on this issue.
Officials in Washington D.C. are currently reveiwing the case to decide if they will pursue the death penalty for Floyd, Sanchez, and Day, the three defendents who did not sign plea agreements. The Attorney General will make the final decision, and there is no time frame in which he must return his decision.
The year anniversary has come and gone, and I'm sorry to say there are no major developments in the case. I, along with Jen Laurence, spent June 9th with the Burgeson family honoring Jason as we feel he'd want us to . . . by relaxing. We later went as a group to visit his grave and were deeply moved by how many flowers and other gifts were left for him.
Also, I would like to congratulate the winners of the first annual Jason Burgeson Memorial Scholarship Awards. The scholarships were presented to two graduates of Apponequet Regional High School who expressed interest in pursuing drama, communications, or journalism, which were just a few of Jason's interests.
Congratulations to Kevin Fowler and Roger Lussier, this year's recipients. Kevin plans to attend Emmanuel College, and Roger plans to attend Boston University. Both will be studying communications. Please see the "Scholarship Funds" section to see how you can donate to this fund.
11 months . . .
Because of the public outrage over Jason and Amy's deaths, there has been a "renewed push for the death penalty in Rhode Island." On Saturday, March 31, the Burgeson and Shute families spoke to the senate panel to encourage the panel to let voters have a say on whether the death penalty should be brought back to Rhode Island. "How many people need to die before stiffer penalties are enacted?" Kellie Surdis, sister of Jason, asked. Carol Shute, mother of Amy, spoke about the opposers to the bill: "The people speaking against the death penalty are not victims of heinous crimes. It's not about vengeance. It's about justice."
The bill is currently being reviewed, and if it passes through the general assembly, voters will have a chance to voice their opinion on the matter. (New Bedford Standard Times (www.s-t.com), April 1, 2001)
No new developments for a while. Keep checking back.
Tomorrow should have been Jason's 21st birthday. He had been waiting for this day for as long as I can remember, and we had all surely looked forward to seeing him enjoy it. Please say an extra prayer for Jason tomorrow.
Hi everyone. Nothing new has been happening with the case. I am back at school so I am once again separated from the real world, but my parents and the Burgesons will still alert me when something major happens. Keep checking back, and hopefully I'll have some news for you sometime soon
I joined the Burgesons to court today. Harry Burdick pled guilty to his part in the murders of Jason and Amy to complete his part in the deal he reached with the federal government to spare his life. Now the highest sentence he can receive is life in prison plus five years. The judge explained to him that testifying against the other three men can allow for a lesser sentence, but the final sentence is up to the judge, and he does not have to lessen the sentence if he does not see it fit.
"PROVIDENCE -- Raymond Anderson, one of five Providence men charged in the carjack-murders of two college students last June, admitted his guilt yesterday as part of a deal reached with the federal government that will spare Anderson's life.
Harry J. Burdick, 21, who also reached a plea agreement with the government last month, did not appear in federal court yesterday as scheduled.
Burdick's hearing was postponed until Friday at 2 p.m.; Burdick's lawyer, Mary June Ciresi, declined to explain why.
The non-binding plea agreements mean that Anderson and Burdick must testify against the three other defendants, Gregory J. Floyd, 20; Samuel Sanchez, 20, and Kenneth D. Day, 22. Those three men pleaded innocent last month.
In exchange for Anderson's and Burdick's testimony, the office of U.S. Attorney Margaret E. Curran will not seek the death penalty against them, but makes no guarantee as to a final sentence recommendation. Anderson and Burdick, if he goes through with his change-of-plea on Friday, could face life in prison." (projo.com 1-10-01)
Two of the five men have decided to plea bargain. Burdick and Anderson, two of the accused men, have agreed to plead guilty and testify against the other three men. These two cannot receive the death penalty as part of the plea bargain. Newspapers say that both families approved of the bargains: "That's what they've got to do," said Amy's father (12-22 Standard Times).
Sorry I've been neglecting the page the past few weeks, but finals are almost over and the page will be improved over break, I promise. LATEST NEWS: A federal grand jury today indicted five young men in the carjacking murders of college students Jason Burgeson and Amy Shute at a Johnston golf course last June, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The indictment moves forward the process of prosecuting the five under federal offenses, which could carry the death penalty. The suspects —Gregory J. Floyd, 30, Harry J. Burdick, 21, Samuel Sanchez, 20, Raymond Anderson, 19, and Kenneth D. Day, 22 — were charged with carjacking, death resulting, and conspiracy to commit carjacking. Floyd was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and using a firearm during a crime of violence. The charges of carjacking, death resulting, and using a firearm during a crime of violence are punishable by life imprisonment or death. (www.projo.com)
Federal charges were made against each of the five men today. The grand jury now has one month to indict them. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED OUR LETTER CAMPAIGN!!! Also, Sanchez will appear in court on December 1 for a bail hearing. He still claims complete innocence.
Hey everyone. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have not forgotten about this webpage. I simply have not received any information worth posting. It has still not been decided yet whether the case will be taken to Federal Court. I will let you know as soon as I know. Until then, keep the letters flowing!
Two special prosecutors have been assigned to the case. The families are still pursuing their wish for the case to become Federal. (Channel 5 ABC News)
Several people have been asking me how the case is coming. Unfortunately, there is no news yet. The state of RI still has about four months to develop its case against the alleged killers. In this time Janet Reno will decide whether or not the case will be tried in federal court. All that we can do right now is continue the letter campaign and hope for the best.
Ira S. Nasberg, the freelance photographer whose "stolen" gun was allegedly used in the killings, died yesterday, one week after being hospitalized when he was found unconscious in his apartment. No foul play is suspected at this time.
Each of the five men waived his right to a bail hearing, admitting that they know that there is too much evidence against them to get bail. By doing this, neither side had to present any of their evidence, and the state now has six months to develop its case against the men. Allegedly, 4 of the 5 men have admitted some sort of involvement in the case, including Gregory Floyd, who allegedly admits to pulling the trigger.
News | Their Story | Jason | Amy | Poems & Essays | GuestGear | Contact Me