New trial date set for Sol Burke

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

COURTLAND—New information in the case of a Suffolk man accused of killing a Franklin man compelled a postponement in his trial, which was scheduled for Tuesday in Southampton County Circuit Court.

Sol “Dukey” Damascus Burke, 27, is charged with the first-degree homicide of Eric “E.T.” Smith on Nov. 8, 2012. Burke is believed to have shot Smith at his mother’s home on Pearl Street in Franklin. The motive is not yet known, but the rumor is that Burke allegedly killed Smith after the Franklin resident beat up Smith in September during an attempted robbery. A warrant was issued the next day for Burke, but he managed to elude police for two months before he was found and arrested without incidence in Chesapeake.

At his arraignment in July 2013, Burke pleaded not guilty. He maintained that position during a second arraignment following the appointment of a new counselor this past winter.

Michael Rosenberg, attorney for Burke, said that, “the Commonwealth Attorney’s office received new information late last week, and gave it to me as soon as possible.”

More time was granted so that Rosenberg has time to prepare for the testimony of new witnesses.

Other charges include: the shooting or stabbing in the commission of a felony; use of a fireman in a felony – first offense; possession of a firearm by a violent felon; shooting in a public place and multiple counts of shooting into an occupied building.

Another person who worked with the suspect in the crime was La’mon Frederick Bradshaw, who was 17 at the time of the incident. A jury later found him guilty of the second-degree murder, as well as the use of a firearm in the commission of a murder, shooting in public and three counts of shooting at an occupied dwelling. He was sentenced to more than 20 years for his part.

Burke’s next trial date is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 18.