Thursday, August 13, 2009

Domestic Violence - Woman Kills Man

The Washington post reports on a story of a woman who shot and killed her husband.

The co-owner of a Southeast Washington tattoo parlor was ordered held in the District jail on Tuesday on charges of killing her husband by shooting him in the head and back.

Authorities charged Kristin Kozak-Burnett, 36, with second-degree murder in the Monday slaying of her husband, Michael Burnett, 56, inside their apartment over their Liquidity Jones tattoo parlor at 1503 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

The first thing I'd want to know is where the gun came from. If I had to guess, I'd say Virginia. I wouldn't expect it to have come from New York or New Jersey where they have proper gun control laws that work. Nor would I think it came from a local DC gun shop. Yes, probably Virginia.

Secondly, I'd want to know why she did it. Even before reading the rest of the article, I was guessing we've got the Burning Bed Syndrome here.

Since 2001, Burnett had been in out and out of jail for robbery and assault, including a 2008 fugitive robbery charge in Virginia. In 2008 and 2009, Burnett was twice charged with assault against his wife. Once he was found not guilty and the other charge was dismissed.

At the time, Kozak-Burnett told police she was scared and that their fights would not end "until he kills her," according to court documents.

Kozak-Burnett has also had her share of charges, including burglary and drug charges. In 2006, she was the key prosecution witness in the trial of the man who killed Eric N. Miler, a Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer from Fairfax County.

Kozak -- who was not married to Burnett at the time -- testified that she, Miller and Dana E. Moro were smoking crack in an Alexandria motel room in 2005 when Moro smashed Miller in the head with a lead pipe. Moro was sentenced to 33 years in prison for the killing.

What's your opinion? Do you see this case as an example of the woman saving herself with a gun? Or is this just another twist on the old theme, guns are bad news for women? Although Ms. Kozak-Burnett was not your typical battered and helpless housewife, as her brutal husband found out, that gun certainly didn't do her any favors. With her criminal background and appearance, arms covered with tattoos, I don't suppose her chances are very good in court at justifying her actions.

What do you think?


  1. I think it is just another case of prohibited dope heads breaking gun laws as well as other laws including murder.

  2. According to ATF trace data (which is not a representative sample by their own admission), the gun more likely came from Maryland. So how are their gun control laws working?

    What does having arms covered in tattoos have to do with whether the courts look on her actions as justified? Looking at society today, I would say that tattoos are a rather normal thing for people to have.

    What I don't understand is why you question whether this is a justified killing or not. The story clearly states:
    "She told police that her husband was not armed, nor was he trying to attack her at the time." I don't know anyone who would chalk that up as a justified killing. That sounds like murder, the question is whether it was pre-meditated or not.

    The irony of you posting this is completely lost on you. NJ & NY may have strict gun control (that you claim is working), yet DC has even stricter gun control. And yet in the midst of this gun control Mecca, two people (both prohibited persons based on their criminal backgrounds) still had possession of a handgun in their home (and I doubt they went out and bought it right after the Heller decision). So how is that gun control working for DC?

  3. All we know at this point is one person shot another. Hopefully the police and courts will dig up the details and come to a fair ruling (Hey -- it happens!).

    If she was a victim of abuse with no other way out (who knows? Though it doesn't look that way), at least she's still alive to defend herself.

  4. Reputo asked, "What does having arms covered in tattoos have to do with whether the courts look on her actions as justified?"

    Well, what does being black or hispanic have to do with getting a fair shake in court? Same answer.

  5. I worked at the shop. Both of them were in a downward spiral. They both were amazing people but let drugs get the better of them

  6. Nicole, Thanks so much for the comment and for confirming what I suspected. Decent people destroyed by drugs, that's how I see most criminals.

    Would you tell us more? Were you surprised she did it? Do you think if she hadn't, sooner or later, he would have killed her? Why didn't she just leave him? What about the gun, was it his? Where did he get it?

    Do you think she should get off on the battered wife syndrome?