Life in prison for man convicted of killing, burning body

October 5, 2022 GMT

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A 43-year-old Louisiana man faces life in prison after being convicted of killing another man whose body was so burned it took DNA to identify him.

That’s the mandatory sentence, since Nathaniel Mitchell III was convicted of second-degree murder of Zacchaeus H. Burton of Baton Rouge. Burton’s body was found July 17, 2019, at the end of a dead-end street in DeQuincy, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) west of his home town.

Codefendant George Anthony Buck pleaded guilty to manslaughter and testified against Mitchell, Bethany Bryant, spokesperson for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office said in an email Wednesday.

Mitchell was convicted Monday and Judge Michael Canaday scheduled formal sentencing Nov. 23, news agencies reported.

Buck is to be sentenced Nov. 21, Bryant said. Manslaughter carries a maximum 40-year sentence

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said in 2019 that Burton had been staying with Mitchell in Iowa (pronounced EYE-oh-way), another Calcasieu Parish town about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of DeQuincy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Investigators believe the two traveled separately to DeQuincy, where Burton was shot, the American Press reported.

Prosecutors said Buck saw the shooting, then dumped gasoline on Burton’s body and set it on fire, KPLC-TV reported.