Accused Killer To Be Tried In Del.

Accused Killer To Be Tried In Del.

BERLIN — Accused killer Matthew Burton, charged in Maryland with first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the death of a Delaware woman whose body was found on a roadside embankment in northern Worcester County in June 2012, will now be tried in Delaware where evidence suggests the crimes took place.
On Monday, the Delaware State Police announced they were preparing to charge Burton, 29, of Dagsboro, with first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the death of Nicole Bennett, 35, of Millsboro, whose body was found on a roadside embankment in Whaleyville in Worcester County on the morning of June 15 of 2012. Last August, a Worcester County grand jury indicted Burton on eight counts including first-degree murder and first-degree rape and he has been incarcerated since with a trial scheduled for Worcester County Circuit Court this fall.
However, Delaware State Police this week announced they were prepared to formally charge Burton on first-degree murder and first-degree rape charges after evidence discovered during a thorough investigation indicated the crimes were committed in the First State. Burton is currently being held in Worcester on a fugitive warrant from Delaware pending extradition and he will formally be charged with murder and rape there upon his return. Meanwhile, in light of the pending charges against Burton in Delaware, Worcester County prosecutors will drop the charges against the accused killer.
Burton, a registered Tier I sex offender in Delaware, worked as a custodian in the church where the victim also worked and where she was last seen alive the night before her body was discovered. Shortly before 9 a.m. last June 15, Worcester Central received a 911 call reporting the discovery of the body of a deceased woman in an embankment off Swamp Rd., a dirt road east of Nelson Rd. near Whaleyville.
DNA evidence gathered by crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division ultimately connected Burton to the crime.
An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined Bennett was murdered and had been asphyxiated. Autopsy evidence also indicated Bennett was already dead when her body was left in the embankment off the dirt road in Whaleyville. Only after the grand jury indictment in Worcester County last August did it come to light she had also been allegedly sexually assaulted and raped by the suspect.
After the investigation and DNA evidence connected Burton to Bennett’s murder, detectives consulted with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and a warrant for his arrest was obtained.