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Suspect in fatal shooting of Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton now charged with murder

phillip lee court.png
Posted at 6:38 AM, Nov 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-08 18:46:18-05

RICHMOND — The man accused of fatally shooting Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton earlier this year has been formally charged with murder more than a month after her death.

As of Tuesday, a jury trial for Phillip Lee originally scheduled for next month no longer appears in online court records.

RELATED | Man accused of shooting Richmond Officer Seara Burton also fired at 2 other cops, court docs allege

Lee was initially supposed to be tried Dec. 27 on several counts of attempted murder, among other charges. Those charges were filed prior to the death of Burton, who succumbed to her injuries on Sept. 18, five weeks after she was shot in the line of duty.

Prosecutors allege that Lee killed Burton and nearly wounded two of her fellow officers when he opened fire on them Aug. 10 as they were conducting a traffic stop on Lee. Police have said Lee is a known drug offender and that officers believed they had just seen him complete a narcotics transaction.

Burton was placed on life support after the shooting. She was removed on Sept. 1 and then moved to a hospice facility, where she died, according to Richmond Police.

RELATED | Suspect in shooting of Richmond police officer has criminal history dating back to 1994

Last month, Lee's trial date was pushed back after his attorneys requested a continuance, to which prosecutors did not object.

Lee's next scheduled court appearance is a pre-trial conference on Nov. 28.