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Man charged with killing Richmond officer Seara Burton dies in Pendleton Correctional Facility

Phillip M. Lee
Posted at 8:37 AM, Jun 06, 2024

PENDLETON — The man accused of killing Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton in 2022 has died.

According to Indiana State Police, Phillip Lee was found unresponsive at 12:46 a.m. at the Pendleton Correctional Facility.

Lee was charged with shooting and killing 28-year-old officer Seara Burton during a traffic stop.

Seara Burton
Seara Burton

Toxicology results and an autopsy are pending, although no foul play is suspected, according to Indiana State Police.

The City of Richmond released the following statement following the news:

The Richmond Police Department has been informed that inmate Phillip Lee was found deceased in his cell at the Indiana Department of Corrections while he was awaiting trial for the murder of Officer Seara Burton. As this community is well aware, Officer Burton was wounded on August 10, 2022, while courageously performing her duties as a Richmond Police Department officer, and inmate Phillip Lee was criminally charged for his actions the next day. Despite valiant efforts, which were nothing short of a miracle, Officer Burton succumbed to her injury on September 18, 2022.

The Richmond community and beyond continue to grieve the loss of Officer Burton. We will never forget her dedication, bravery and selfless service. Officer Burton's memory and legacy remain a guiding light for all of us.

Looking forward, we are committed to honoring Officer Burton's legacy by working with State Representative Brad Barrett to name the U.S. 27 bridge over Interstate 70 the "Officer Seara Burton Memorial Bridge." This is an opportunity to honor Officer Burton's service and sacrifice. Officer Burton always displayed the utmost integrity and represented the best in law enforcement officers, and we intend to ensure her memory lives on through the bridge naming process.

We ask that you keep Officer Burton's family and fellow law enforcement officers in your thoughts and prayers as they process these developments. As we move forward, let us carry the spirit of Officer Burton's dedication and bravery in our hearts. Let us continue to uphold the values she embodied, ensuring her legacy of service and sacrifice is never forgotten. Her impact on this community is immeasurable, and her memory will forever inspire us to strive for excellence and compassion in our duties. In doing so, we honor her by continuing to live lives and build a community that strives to be worthy of her sacrifice.