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Body-dragging suspect free on bond



Published: Wed, December 10, 2008 @ 12:07 a.m.

photo

Bryce D. Burke, 27, left, was sentenced to three years in prison for the death of Andrew Culp, 22, of Columbiana. Burke’s car rolled over Culp at a South Side fast-food restaurant in 2007, and Burke dragged Culp underneath the car about two blocks. This picture of Burke and his lawyer J. Gerald Ingram was taken in 2008 at Burke’s arraignment in Youngstown Municipal Court.

More charges are ‘highly unlikely,’ a prosecutor said.

STAFF REPORT

YOUNGSTOWN — The dragging death of a Columbiana man was a horrible accident up until the point Bryce D. Burke was told there was a body under his car and fled; then it became criminal, a city prosecutor said.

Prosecutor Jay Macejko said Tuesday that it’s “highly unlikely” that Burke, now charged with felony failure to stop after an accident, will face any additional charges, even after a coroner’s report on the death of Andrew Culp is released. Culp, 22, of North Main Street, Columbiana, was found in the westbound lane of Midlothian Boulevard near Euclid Boulevard on Nov. 29 and died from his injuries, police believe.

Burke, 26, of Mercedes Place, Canfield, came to municipal court Tuesday with his lawyer, J. Gerald Ingram. Judge Robert P. Milich set bond at $10,000, allowing 10 percent to be posted. Bond was posted. Burke is expected back in court today for arraignment and to have a pretrial hearing scheduled.

Dana Lantz, assistant city prosecutor, told the judge that Burke’s record includes two reckless operation convictions.

Macejko said detectives believe the impact was just west of Zedaker Street and Midlothian. How Culp ended up there is still under investigation, the prosecutor said.

Burke was in the McDonald’s drive-through at South Avenue and Midlothian Boulevard when another motorist told him there was a body under his car, police said. A witness called 911 and told the police dispatcher there was a body under the car in front of him. By the time police arrived, the car had gone.

Culp was found in the roadway about two blocks from the McDonald’s.

Burke surrendered to detectives Dec. 1.


Comments

1babs68(58 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Wow...a man life is only worth 10% of 10, $10,000.00. He abused a corpse and ran the guy down. I know he had to feel a thump...dang. I am thankfull that it is not my family.

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2a_non_e_mouse(15 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If you got connections in the area like he does you get off easy. If that was her son that was hit the other guy would probably be in GITMO by now. This actually shouldn't surprise to many people. I just hope that Mom's connections don't have much effect on a civil suit and they take them for every dollar they have and will earn for the next 50 years. I thought those get out of jail free cards passed out during the election was just a political gimmick. Guess I should of kept mine.

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3chugie1553(1 comment)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I completely agree with a-non-emouse. It is totaly ridiculous that Bryce is getting a little slap on the wrist for such a heinous crime. I am sure that Bryce's mom (a city probation officer) had nothing to due with this. I do believe that if the roles would have been reversed that the charges would have been much stiffer. I mean didn't the chief of police say that the victim was still alive when he was being transported to the hospital. And now the prosecuter is saying that it was just an unfortunate accident until Bryce was told there was a body under his car. Give me a break. At the very least he should have been charged with vehicular homicide.

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4njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

OK first two words you all need to get familiar with is KNOWINGLY and INTENT. Did he show intent or knowingly hit this guy and drag him to mcdonalds, and can you prove it? While at the drive through after being told there was a man under his car did he know that when he took off the guy was still attached to the car? Did he KNOWINGLY drag this guy after he lift Mcdonald's, and can you prove it. You need to familiarize yourself with the law. They could stick him with vehicualar homicide, but with a good lawyer it would never hold up. Look at the facts:
1. They can not prove he was DUI because he left the scene.
2. They can not prove intent
3.They still don't know why or how this individual ended up under the car. It looks from what I have heard that he was laying in the roadway.

So in other words if they wanted to charge him with vehicular manslaughter or homicide it would be a misdemeanor because they can't show intent or prove the fact that he was DUI....So why not stick him with the felony leaving the scene of an accident that you know would stick and hold up in court. I am not saying what he did is justified but given the facts the charge brought upon him was the correct one.

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5Eric(196 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

njb5619 presents a very compelling argument. We don't know the circumstances involved; the victim very well could have been laying in the roadway. We don't know if Burke ran the victim down. And hearing a thump? I don't know what kind of roads you people drive on, but with the roads I drive on I hear thumps all the time.... It's a tragedy, yes. But what evidence is there of vehicular homicide? Let's first know the facts before we jump on conspiracy theories.

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62old2care(19 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

If there is a body under your vehicle for whatever reason, accidental or not, I'll bet your first thought wouldn't be to drive away without getting help for that person. It's obvious this driver knowingly left the scene possibly thinking the body was still at the drive thru. His intent may have only been to get away from the gruesome scene, but he totally disregarded the fact that another human being was in need of emergency medical care.

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7tinnydrop(16 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The kid was still alive under the drivers car when he was at McDonalds. The people behind him saw his legs moving. Yet! The kid still continued on with the body under his vehicle. Sounds like a case of murder if you ask me. I'm sure mommy dearest had some pull in the case and for the fact that they were from Canfield has a lot to do with it. I mean, people from Canfield don't commit crimes!

Would it give someone the right to to kill another person if that person were "almost" dead anyways?

Our justice system really sucks!

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8njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I completely understand what you all are saying. My point is there are two types of degrees for leaving the scene of an accident which are a misdemeanor and a felony. 2old2care you said "He totally disregarded the fact that another human being was in need of emergency medical care." That is exactle why why he was charged with the felony leaving the scene. "It's obvious this driver knowingly left the scene POSSIBLY thinking the body was still at the drive thru." I put the main word in caps "Poosibly, " that's is my point, can you prove possible? It would be too hard to prove in court, near impossible. Again I hate to drill it into people's heads but there was no intent here and that is why he recieved the charges he did.

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9lrb480(2 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Mahoning county politics as usual!

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10annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

honestly, we have huge politicians who have gotten into major trouble over the past few years (traficant, philomena, chance, ag marc dann) etc...but we are worried that bryce burke's mom may be able to fiddle with this case. is everyone serious here??? it seems to me like a lot of people on this blog are just hurting to get their fingers into a bit of gossip and controversy. what happened was horrible...for all involved. it's awful that a man is dead. it's awful that a man is being judged by people that are getting their scoop from a newspaper blog. let the detectives do their job. they are the only ones who can crack this case. in the end it won't matter who bryce's mom is. all that will matter is the truth.

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11annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

also.....i don't think it's fair for anyone on this page to say what they would have done. no one knows for sure what they will do when they see something traumatic and panic. i'm sure everyone can think of a time when something minor happened in your life and you reacted in a way that even you didn't agree with after. times that by a million...

any one of us could have been driving down that road..that night..and no one knows what we would have done.

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12totalnonsense(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

njb5619 we have already talked bout this now... alright.. lets say Andrew was just laying in the road.. what sick person see's a body in the road n don't stop or atlease don't drive around it.. no let's have fun n drive over the body in the road... yay sounds like a freaking awesome game to me... ummm and when he looked at the legs.. he would have noticed a blood trail behind him stating he was dragged um he's under my car theres a blood trail oh it was here before i got here but umm no one else said nething so i am gonna book it.. Sounds rock soild of a story real winner... if he was already dragged that far on ohio roads i don't even believe he'd fall off sitting still in a drive through.. what knocked him off was probably reckless driving... oh n if you j=hit someone i think you see them when u do it enless ur sleeping...

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13njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Totalnonsense-I never implied that he didn't know that the body was being dragged under his car when he got to Mcdonald's. I'm not going to sit here and explain this to you again since you don't have the common sense to actually read and think about what I have already said. Go on google because I already know you don't read law and search and read about all the different charges you feel he should be charged with, and then if you even have an ounce of sense you will see why I said what I did. You have to take in all of the facts, not just your personal feelings, but what the FACTS are.

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14totalnonsense(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

njb5619 HEY I STUDIED LAW FOR TWO YEARS ACTUALLY.. GRADUATED TOP OF MY CLASS.. I JUST SUCK AT ENGLISH... AND I HAVE MORE COMMON SENSE THEN YOU DO.. AND I KNOW MORE IN THE CASE THEN YOU DO... SO YOU CAN SHUT UP... I'M SURE BURKE JUST SAW A BODY LAYING IN THE ROAD AND WAS LIKE LETS DRIVE OVER IT FOR FUN... HE HIT HIM.. KILLED HIM.. AND DRUG HIM.. I KNOW MOST OF THE CORONER REPORT..

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15annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

ok totalnonsense...although we sympathize with you and understand your pain the truth is you haven't studied law...not one bit. if you knew the law, the details of that awful night and the insides of this case you would realize that njb5619 was actually right about the charges. i can tell that you are very young and very upset. everyone gets that. but facts are facts and you don't seem to know them. i can guarantee that you know of no reports because this is in fact a criminal case. reports of any kind aren't just released for public display because it can ruin a case. everything that everyone knows has come from witnesses. witnesses at utopia. witnesses at the drive thru. and plain old confessions. no one cracked this case i'm sorry to tell you. no one ever even got his plates. he contacted detectives and turned himself in. if he hadn't done so no one would have known who that man was in the drive thru. but in my opinion, unless he was lying in the street on purpose, i would be looking for the person who actually really did hit him because everyone knows he was already down when burke came along. why? why was he lying in the road? am i the only person asking this question...is everyone ok with the fact that someone was laying in the road and no one knows how he got there? i don't get it. seriously.

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16njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Then you would know that wasn't how it happened. If you know the coroners report I'm sure it stated that his heart was still beating when he was brought to the hospital. You say, and I quote "HE HIT HIM.. KILLED HIM.. AND DRUG HIM." Well if you had any "inside" info on the case then your order is completely wrong which leads me to question your competency and the competency of the law school you attended. In my eyes the order would be He ran over a body in the road, drug him possibly unknowingly, got to mcdonald's and freaked out when he found a body under the car and then took off again POSSIBLY unknowingly and the victim then died at the hospital or en route which I am not sure.

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17njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I do know one thing for sure and it is that if you are a criminal lawyer remind me never to obtain your services because any lawyer with a lick of sense would realize that all you need to create is reasonable doubt. There is no way on God's green earth that you can tell me there is no reasonable doubt.

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18sobeit(98 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Sorry totalnonsense, but no way in hell have you studied law. Watching Law & Order does not count. I work in the legal field and have legal background through college. You sound like a young kid (late teens, early twenties) by your writing and your vocabulary. And the way you are taking everything so personal about this case also tells me that you are in no way, shape or form an attorney or have studied law. How did you graduate in the top of your class and suck at spelling and grammar?

I understand you are upset because your friend was killed. But I do believe it was NOT intentional.

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19DRDAVE1965(80 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THE DEFENDANT'S MOTHER DOES NOT WORK FOR THE CITY OF YOUNGSTOWN'S PROBATION DEPARTMENT

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20sobeit(98 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Well, I can find out for a fact considering I deal with the Probate dept. EVERY DAY!

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21boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

You are correct DRDAVE, its not Youngstowns probation department. see below.....

http://www.dlnnews.com/directory.php

COUNTY COURT No. 4
Austintown, Jackson and Milton Townships

Austintown Plaza, 6000 Mahoning Ave., Suite 254, Youngstown, OH 44515
330 740-2001 • FAX: 330 740-2036

Probation Officers FAX: 330 740-2068

Laura L. Burke, Chief Probation Officer 330 740-2196

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22annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

i can't believe how much time people have spent trying to figure out who laura is and where she works. maybe next someone could figure out what her favorite food is? lets see who can win this contest of who knows more. very entertaining.

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23totalnonsense(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

so you all are saying I know little about this case.. I understand everybody has their own opion but enless you know the suspected cause of death you knkow nothing about this case. Enless you have contact with the police men and coroner and family then you have no idea what this case involves. I know what this case involves. I know what Andrew appeared like after he was cleaned up. I know what the suspected cause of death is. I never finished Law Training because I am a very emotional person and feel for people. I did graduate at the top of my just finished "Therpy Class". The words I choose to use are not a distintion of my age... and you do not have to spell well enless your writing the formal case objective. I studied to work with "troubled" teens and younge adults thank you.. to understand them you must be able to think like them. NOW will you please stop being judgmental on my behalf.. I have just be plainly saying. Burke hit Andrew and didn't know he got engaged under his vehicle, thats why he acted so suprized. You don't just go out and run over bodies laying in the road... and if you do please come see me maybe I can help you. Due to the suspected cause of death... there is no way Andrew was alive through any of the tragic events. He was Brain dead.. but that does not mean his body wasn't still in working function.. His nerves were still moving and his organs still functioning do to shock. When something like this happens and what occured occures you may be brain dead but it takes a while for your body to realise what has occured.

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24njb5619(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

ENLESS....pretty much sums up that entire post. You keep talking but never prove any of your main points. Never do you without a doubt prove to me intent.You need to realize that all a lawyer has to do is crate a reasonable doubt in the jury's eyes which isn't hard to do in this case. Never will you be able to prove the statements you make. I really do feel for you if you have connection with this family and obviously you do, but I don;t care what info you have the charges have been filed. Obviosly the detectives have made their minds up. So unless you know something they don't I don;t understand why you continue to argue. As far as the point about running over bodies you keep bringing up it is completely invalid. You will never be able to prove he knew he ran over that body so get over it. I never said you know little about this case, but what you do know you obviusly don;t know how to add up because most of the people on this board as well as the detctives on the case have the same views, but I forgot you were "head" of your class in law school but can't spell unless (enless)..... So with that being said I rest my case and hope that someday you will put all that law school to use.

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25annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

no totalnonsense, we're not saying that you do not know anything about this case. we're saying that you are talking from your heart and not your brain. not a bad thing at all. but your pain and your anger are blinding you from the facts. that's all. what you don't understand is that we get you. no matter what anyone has said here, we all understand that you are very upset and you are allowed to be. it just doesn't change what happened that night and how the law works. andrew was your friend and you see this case from the side of a person who lost someone important to them. i see your point. but because i am not emotionally connected to the victim i am able to see burke's side too. no one said i was right 100%. this is merely my opinion. there are some people who will agree with me and some who think i'm a complete idiot but my feelings come from life experiences that i feel strongly about.

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26sobeit(98 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Not being rude, but it's unless, not enless. I figured I would help you out and give you the correct spelling.

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27gbeans01(11 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

This whole case just breaks my heart. I'm a mother of two young children. I cannot imagine ever having to deal with either party's stance in this horrific event later on in either of my kids' lives. To totalnonsense....people in the area are glued to this case because of how bizarre the occurrance was. Things like this don't happen in daily life. And you HAVE to understand that a lot of the posters on here post ignorant things just to push buttons. Don't take to heart.

Personally, I think there is a lot more to this story than is being told, or will ever be told, and that's the sad part. If I were Culp's parents, sick as it is of me to say, I'd want a blow by blow account of what happened. And if I was Burke's mother/parents, I'd want the God's honest truth. Neither is going to come out of this so all I can do is let friends and family of each know I've said a prayer for them to stay strong and that one day things will get a little easier.

JMO

Merry Christmas All! xoxo

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28WedranPulc(2 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

WOW, it must be nice to have a mother who is so high up. If his mother was'nt Laura Burke, the women in charge of probation and parole in Mahoning county, then he would get in more trouble. She has conections, and he is not going to get in any trouble, because of his mothers influences. What about the Culp family, they might set things striaght, by them selfs.

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29annoyed(13 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

i think it's nice that we are able to be anonymous on this site...but i think it's awesome that our i.p. addresses are logged on here too. so you know, when someone "sets things straight by themselves" they won't have to wait for a confession. they could just come to this site to find out who did it. and then they could blame laura burke for all the trouble they are in.

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