Local News

Durham man charged with bigamy

Posted July 24, 2008

— A Durham man has been charged with bigamy after his wife tipped off Chapel Hill police that he was married to someone else.

John Dee Burton Jr., 43,  of 2218 Fitzgerald Ave. in Durham, was charged with one felony count of bigamy. He was released on bond after a brief appearance in court Thursday morning.

Police said Burton married one woman in 1993 and separated from her eight or nine years later. But never divorced her before marrying another woman.

"He figured, from what he told us, that because they were not living together anymore and some time had passed, that he was divorced,"said Dawn Hunter, an investigator with the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Both women lived in Chapel Hill, police said, and the second wife went to police to report the alleged bigamy after an earlier confrontation with the first wife.

"The other woman had approached her sometime back before she decided that she wanted something done," Hunter said, declining to specify what led to the police report.

Police declined to provide the names of the wives.

Investigators said they believe the alleged bigamy hadn't been caught earlier because Burton used "John Dee Burton" on the first marriage license and "John Dee Burton Jr." on the second one.

"From looking at the licenses themselves, you can tell where he left his 'Jr.' off at the end of his name, but he used the same date of birth," Hunter said.

Investigators said they don't believe Burton married any other women during this period. He did have an earlier wife, whom he divorced in 1989, police said.

"At this time, I do not see where there are any other victims," Hunter said.


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  • PowderedToastMan Jul 25, 2008

    Ha.. this guy married someone who ratted him out.

    The penalty for bigamy: Two mother-in-laws.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 25, 2008

    which is the greater sin... for

    Even if he divorces the first wife and married the second wife - he will have two living wives - thats the sin.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 25, 2008

    Why is divorce a sin, yet it's legal?

    Who is saying divorce a sin besides you?

  • ThisIsMyName Jul 24, 2008

    Why is divorce a sin, yet it's legal?

  • Coach K is GREAT Jul 24, 2008

    Coach K:

    What do homosexual and gay marriages have to do with this issue ?
    July 24, 2008 5:12 p.m.
    Report abuse

    Nothing much, but everyone is crucifying this man for his ILLEGAL act, I was just wondering what eveyone thought the difference was with what this man and the ILLEGAL act of homosexual marriages.

    That's all.
    A sin is a sin is a sin... I'm not bashing anyone just asking for other people's perspectives on both illeagal issues...

    I do have that right to ask don't I??

  • a-moment-of-truth Jul 24, 2008

    like i said with the other cat in clayton/cary who was carrying on like this that his punishment for two wives is two sets of in-laws.....

  • ginlee00 Jul 24, 2008

    Coach K:

    What do homosexual and gay marriages have to do with this issue ?

  • sodo Jul 24, 2008

    I'm confident that this story will be used by some in the continuing vendetta against Durham. "See, look at what happens over THERE . . . THEY don't have their act together"

  • Seeminglyopposed Jul 24, 2008

    I just want to know what made the 1st one marry him, let alone the 2nd. It had to be the money. Both of these men that has been in the news for this charge must have had some strong playa words, desperate women or a great deal of money. Because I would not have given neither one a second look. And prayerfully they would not have given me on either.

  • dlmagoo2 Jul 24, 2008

    And the sad thing is.. He's NOT even cute.... :o)