LEWISBURG — A Greenbrier County man serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the 1997 murder of his girlfriend has been granted a hearing in his quest to overturn his conviction.

In 1999, a Greenbrier County jury found Royce “Dino” Burdette, formerly of McRoss, guilty of the first degree murder of 35-year-old Robin Christy Bradley. Bradley’s lifeless body was found wrapped in an afghan in the trunk of a Mercedes Benz in 1997 by her landlord outside of the apartment she had shared with Burdette.

Prosecutors said Burdette most likely suffocated his victim prior to placing her in the trunk of the vehicle, although a definitive cause of death was never given, according to court records. The jury recommended no mercy in the case.

Burdette previously had two appeals denied by the state Supreme Court in the case. His latest appeal, filed by Greenbrier County Chief Public Defender Richard H. Lorensen, listed 21 reasons for the lower court to vacate his conviction. Those include adverse pre-trial publicity, a denial of a speedy trial and ineffective counsel.

A hearing has been set for Jan. 25 before Greenbrier County Judge Joseph P. Pomponio Jr.

Burdette was also previously convicted of robbery charges in Raleigh and Summers counties and sentenced to over 100 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole on those charges until 2048 and they are not affected by the appeal of his murder conviction.

Burdette is currently incarcerated at Mt. Olive Correctional Complex in Moundsville.

— E-mail: cgiggenbach@register-herald.com

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