Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Man who led officials on HVL manhunt sentenced to prison


LAKEPORT – One of two men who were the subject of a day-long manhunt in Hidden Valley Lake in November of 2008 has been sentenced to prison.

Charles William Burk, 32, a transient, was sentenced by Judge Arthur H. Mann on Monday to 20 years and four months in prison, according to a report from Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who prosecuted the case.

Burke pleaded guilty on Feb. 10 to attempted murder and assault on a deputy sheriff, and admitted a special allegation of personally using a firearm during the commission of a felony, Hinchcliff said.

Thomas Quinn, Burke's defense attorney, said his client “expressed great remorse for this episode which was largely induced by his having been up for four days on methamphetamine.”

Quinn added, “He realizes, however, that that doesn't excuse his conduct, which he took responsibility for, and harbors no animosity towards the victims who are his family.”

According to the investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, on Nov. 13, 2008, Burk and a co-defendant, Malcolm Safa Brown, broke into the home of Burk’s adoptive parents on Noble Ranch Road in the Hidden Valley Lake area at approximately 7 a.m., while they and their 22-year-old son were home sleeping.

Upon entry, Brown began hitting the 22-year-old son in the head. Burk grabbed a .22-caliber rifle he was aware was kept in the residence and pointed it at his father when his father emerged from the bedroom from a few feet away, and pulled the trigger.

There was no bullet in the chamber and the gun did not fire. Burk then attempted to chamber a round in the barrel, but the bullet lodged sideways in the chamber and would not fire.

The victims were able to force Burk and Brown to leave the residence after a violent physical confrontation in which the victims received physical injuries requiring sutures at the hospital, according to the report,

While fleeing the scene down Spruce Grove Road with Burk driving, Burk encountered sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Smith responding to the scene. Burk intentionally swerved his vehicle into Deputy Smith’s patrol vehicle and rammed the patrol vehicle, then continued with his escape.

Burk and Brown then drove through a metal gate and a cyclone fence on private property off of Spruce Grove Road, drove down a driveway, through a chicken coop and crashed their vehicle into a tree near a residence. Burk then left the vehicle with the motor running and attempted to break into a house on the property, but was prevented from gaining entry by the residents inside.

The men then separated, and Burk broke into another residence on Raven Hill Road that did not have anyone home at the time. Inside the residence Burk gathered a bag of food and other items to use in his escape, and found a razor which he used to shave his head and face to disguise himself.

Burk also, for an unknown reason, removed clothing from and cut the hair off of several Barbie dolls belonging to the daughter of the owner of the residence.

An extensive manhunt was conducted by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, including assistance from a Sonoma County Sheriff’s helicopter.

Both suspects were located later that day by Lake County deputy sheriffs and California Highway Patrol officers and arrested. An extensive investigation by the Sheriff’s Department followed.

Brown was previously sentenced on May 26, 2009, to 16 years in prison.

At Burk’s sentencing on Monday, Judge Mann sentenced him to the upper term of nine years for attempted murder, 16 months for the assault on Deputy Smith, and an additional 10 years for use of a firearm, for a total of 20 years and 4 months.

In addition, Burk was ordered to pay a restitution fine of $4,200 and restitution to the victims totaling $21,266.01.

Burk will be sent to San Quentin for processing and classification to determine in which prison he will be housed.

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