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Life sentence for West Passyunk killing

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A 28-year-old man is facing a life sentence without parole for the 2018 murder of Richard Jackson at a barbecue in South Philly’s West Passyunk neighborhood. 

A jury convicted Daryl Burns on first-degree murder, possessing an illegal firearm and related charges after he shot and killed Jackson on July 15, 2018.

Burns is expected to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in front of Common Pleas Court Judge Diana L. Anhalt in August.

“I’m grateful to Assistant District Attorney Robert Wainwright and the Philadelphia Police Department for their diligence in this case and commitment to bringing Richard Jackson’s killer to justice,” said District Attorney Larry Krasner. “I also want to thank the eyewitnesses who played a critically important role in helping investigators close this case. Mr. Jackson’s tragic case is a clear-cut example of why cooperating eyewitnesses can make a huge difference in these serious matters.”

According to witnesses who were at a family barbecue on the 1500 block of S. Bambrey Street shortly before the murder, Jackson got into an argument with the defendant’s brother, leading to a physical altercation with Daryl Burns. Burns and his brother were subsequently asked to leave the barbecue. Jackson told one of the witnesses that he was going home to take a shower and calm down.

Later that evening, another cooperating eyewitness observed Burns walk up to Jackson’s residence on the 2000 block of Norwood Street. Burns banged on the door and shot Jackson point-blank in the chest as Jackson opened the door. According to testimony, Burns calmly returned the handgun to the waistband of his pants and left the area. Police were called to the scene and transported Jackson to Penn Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Family members still mourning the loss of Jackson were pleased with the outcome of the trial.

“Richard was a great brother, uncle and friend,” said Sheresse Jackson. “He was the kind of person that if someone needed a shirt, he would take the one off his back and give it to them. I truly miss my brother, but I am also very, very at ease that justice was done here.”

According to the DA’s Office, investigators used surveillance footage obtained from several locations, in conjunction with eyewitness accounts, to identify Burns on the block where the crime occurred. Crucially, these eyewitnesses cooperated with police from the very beginning of the investigation through to the conclusion of the jury trial to help convict Burns.

“It was an absolute honor to try this case and secure justice for Mr. Jackson’s loved ones,” said Wainwright. “I also commend the witnesses involved in this case — including Mr. Jackson’s longtime partner, Vitia Wilson, who bravely testified — without whom justice would have been that much harder to achieve. Our office needs the public to know that resources are available to ensure your safety, and we urge you to come forward with any information that can assist law enforcement in solving violent crimes. We cannot do this alone.”

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