Police say additional arrests are 'imminent' in the alleged murder-for-hire case that left a 44-year-old woman dead inside her home
A married Jacksonville man and his mistress have been charged with second-degree murder in the alleged killing of the man’s wife, police stated.
Jerry Burns, 50, and his girlfriend, Amanda Love, 31, were arrested on Monday after Jacksonville Sheriff’s deputies conducted a nearly monthlong investigation following the discovery of Burns’ deceased wife in his home last month, according to a statement released by the sheriff’s office.
According to a statement on the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Twitter account, Burns allegedly offered his girlfriend “$5,000 to transport individuals to the victim’s residence and commit the murder,” which he allegedly intended to stage like a burglary. Burns also allegedly offered to pay Love from the victim’s life insurance policy, the statement says.
Shortly before 1:30 p.m. on May 9, police were called to the victim’s residence where they found Velvet Burns, 44, with injuries related to a stabbing, the report stated.
At the time, her husband was allegedly working about three hours away in Tallahassee. But investigators allege Love was near the crime scene on the morning of the murder, officials state.
Investigators say the crime is an active murder investigation and expect to make additional arrests.
“We do believe that other individuals are involved and further arrests are imminent,” officials stated.
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Meanwhile, Velvet’s best friend Crystal Strickland is shocked at the arrest of her friend’s husband, according to a report from local TV station 4JAX.
“I find it so hard to believe, because he got to the scene of the crime, and he just fell to his knees and kept pounding the ground,” Strickland recalled to the station. “He kept telling me that she was his life – and that’s why I find this to be so devastating.”
Strickland also said she was worried about the fate of the couple’s kids. “It’s really hard for all of us, and we’re really worried about their kids. I just can’t imagine how her kids are feeling right now and our prayers go out to them,” she said to 4JAX.
It is unclear whether Burns or Love have hired an attorney.
Anyone with information should call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.