Local News

Convicted rapist sentenced on federal weapons charge

Posted February 9, 2011

— A Bladen County man twice convicted of rape received a 15-year prison sentence Wednesday on federal weapons charges.

James Edwards Burton, 62, of White Oak, pleaded guilty last August to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors said that the charge stemmed from a routine stop for a traffic violation on Jan. 2, 2009. After he failed a sobriety test, prosecutors said, a police officer patted down Burton and found a loaded .32-caliber handgun in his pocket.

Burton was convicted of second-degree rape in 1995 and of first-degree rape and assault with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in the 1970s, according to state Department of Correction records. He served nearly three years in prison for the 1995 conviction and 18 years for the 1970s convictions.


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  • heels21 Feb 10, 2011

    Rehabilitate? Funny.

  • ech Feb 10, 2011

    I’ll tell you what’s up with that. Liberalism. Those first 18 years, rehabilitated him. Then the next time the system has been fine tuned to the point that it only took 3 years to rehabilitate him. Now he will be rehabilitated for 15 years for carrying a gun. You know that is bad. Then when he gets out he will probably kill some innocent person and then have to be rehabilitated again. The ultimate goal of liberalism is to rehabilitate the criminals and then get them back into society as a productive part of the community as fast as possible. Think of all those tax dollars they could be making for the government to spend. That is the ultimate goal.

  • seankelly15 Feb 10, 2011

    You all are comparing apples to oranges. The previous charges were STATE charges and followed sentencing guidelines. The current conviction is for a FEDERAL crime where the sentencing guidelines are more severe.

  • oldrwizr Feb 10, 2011

    What kills me is that he only got three years for second-degre rape in the 90's after already serving 18 for first-degree rape in the 70's! What's up with that?

  • Lead by Example Feb 10, 2011

    Goes to show that N.C. needs tougher sentencing laws.

  • lilmisssmartypants Feb 10, 2011

    Am I the only woman offended by him getting 15 years for unlawful possession of a weapon, but only 3 for a second degree rape conviction?

  • dixieboy Feb 10, 2011

    Only 15 years?

  • Lightfoot3 Feb 9, 2011

    I believe he should have been executed in the 1970s.