Mary Beth Sallee
Hart Co. News-Herald
A jury deliberated in the LaRue County Circuit Court for only 15 minutes on October 30 to return a guilty verdict against an Upton man who was charged with murdering his wife in 2021.
William “Billy” Gerald Burden, age 55, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Erica Burden.
Erica was originally reported missing from Bonnieville on November 9, 2021. She disappeared after dropping her daughter off at school. Erica’s remains were found two days later on November 11, 2021.
According to other news reports, it is believed that Billy had lured Erica to his residence in Upton where he then shot and killed the 27-year-old inside of her vehicle. It is alleged that he hid her body, as well as the murder weapon, Erica’s purse, and a cell phone, in a sinkhole which he then covered with dirt and debris.
Records show Billy Burden was arrested on November 11, 2021 and was placed on a $2 million cash bond. He was charged with murder (domestic violence), tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, and persistent felony offender.
Additional records also show that the now convicted murderer has a lengthy history of assault and domestic violence.
On June 21, 2006, Burden was charged with assault (2nd degree), terroristic threatening, and criminal trespassing. Less than a month later in July of that same year, he was charged with contempt of court for violating an emergency protection order (EPO).
On September 4, 2007, Burden was once again charged with assault (2nd degree), terroristic threatening, and criminal trespassing. Less than a year later on July 7, 2008, he was arrested for assault (2nd degree, domestic violence). March 26, 2010 saw the repeat offender again arrested and charged with assault (2nd degree).
As of November 4, Billy Burden remained lodged at the LaRue County Jail.