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Rand man pleads guilty to first-degree murder

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Rand man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Thursday, on the eve of his trial.

Brent Lee Burdette, 20, accepted a deal from prosecutors that grants him mercy, which means he could be eligible for parole after 15 years.

He is charged with shooting William Cordle III, 21, to death in July last year because "he was running his mouth," according to police.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Charles King will sentence Burdette at 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Kanawha County sheriff's deputies found Cordle lying near the 5300 block of Elaine Drive with a single gunshot wound to his chest. He died later at CAMC General Hospital.

Cordle had been standing outside Burdette's house, trying to start a fight with Harley Kowalski, a visiting neighbor who was inside the home at the time, according to a criminal complaint.

Burdette, carrying a handgun, went outside, according to the complaint. Kowalski said he heard a gunshot, and both men fled through the back of the house, into an alley.

Erica Ratliff and Eddie Chapman were driving down Elaine Drive when they saw Cordle stumble into the roadway and fall into a ditch, the complaint stated. Ratliff ran to a nearby house, where Burdette was, to dial 911.

When Ratliff told the people inside that someone on the street had been shot, Burdette reportedly said, "he was the one that shot him, because he was running his mouth," the complaint stated.


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