Last week, parole was denied for serial killer Charles Lee. The State has strongly opposed Lee’s release on numerous occasions due to his violent temperament and the threat he still poses to society.
On June 21st, 1972, Charles Lee confessed and was convicted of the brutal murders of Carolyn Burnett and Kit Harrington on Dauphin Island. An article released by the Mobile Press Register on June 4, 1969 states, “A Mobile man, freed in an Illinois murder case two years ago, was charged Tuesday night in the fatal stabbing of a young couple in South Mobile County last week.” According to police records, both victims were beaten and stabbed repeatedly. The female victim was bound, gagged, and left nude. Lee was initially tried for these charges in 1969 and was sentenced to the electric chair. Due to technicalities this sentence was reversed. In 1972 he was retried and received two LIFE sentences.
This was not the first time Lee was tried for a violent crime. In 1967, Lee was charged with the murder of Dora Barker in Villa Park, Illinois. After the State of Illinois failed to provide sufficient evidence, he was acquitted of this charge. During the investigation of the Dauphin Island killings, Lee confessed to the murder in Illinois and a similar murder of a young girl in Wisconsin.
During the initial trial, Lee threatened the lives of multiple people who were involved in his arrest and conviction. In 1980, Lee escaped from Charles A. Farquhar State Cattle Ranch and was seen stalking one of his former prosecutors. After being captured and convicted of Escape 1st, Lee was sentenced to an additional 99 years.
Carolyn Burnet’s brother and sister were both present at the latest parole hearing. Lee will be up for parole again in 2024 and the State will be present to ensure that he remains in DOC.