8-year-old killed in Union Township stabbing identified - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

8-year-old killed in Union Township stabbing identified

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Keith Burley Keith Burley
UNION TWP, Pa. -

The scene that played out in a Union Township, Pennsylvania home Monday night is unthinkable.

A man on parole after serving time for murder is now accused of fatally stabbing an eight-year-old boy.

The suspect in that Pennsylvania crime was arrested across the state line in Mahoning County hours later.

Forty-three-year-old Keith Burley is behind bars in the Mahoning County Jail with no bond.  He's waiting on an extradition hearing on Thursday in Mahoning County, and that could land him back in Pennsylvania to face a multitude of charges including murder and making terroristic threats.

The body of eight-year-old Mark Mason was found inside a home at 60 High Street. The child was allegedly murdered at the hands of his mother's Keith Burley sometimes before 11 pm Monday.  

The community says it's just too much to take.

Dana Yerage, a neighbor, said, "How does any person, any normal person hurt a little boy?"

Neighbor Nathan Gassel, a family friend of the murdered child's father, said, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.  I'm so sorry this happened to his son.  That young boy was fun, outgoing, playful, and always protecting his brothers."

Pennsylvania State Police investigators are now handling the case and tell 21 News this all started in a car as the murder victim's mother and her boyfriend argued over cell phones.

A New Castle fire station is where the child's mother pulled over and honked her horn repeatedly in a desperate attempt for help.  Firefighters rushed outside according to Chief David Joseph, "There was a female here.  She had bruises on her head and face.  She said her boyfriend beat her up.  So our guys treated her until paramedics arrived and she was taken to the hospital."

At that point, Burley jumped into the driver's seat and took off from the fire station in the victim's car, allegedly kidnapping her two children inside.  He took them to the High Street home, where at least two other children witnessed Burley put the eight-year-old boy in a headlock, and they say Burley said, "die, die" as he repeatedly stabbed the child.

Two of the young witnesses ran to a neighbor's home, and she called 911.

Burley would then go on the run until several hours later when U.S. Marshals in Youngstown spotted him walking on Market Street near Woodland.  He initially wouldn't provide his identity according to Deputy U.S. Marshal Keith Yauger.

"He didn't resist, didn't say anything.  We just handcuffed him and put him in the back of the car," Yauger said.

State Police are now investigating and say this isn't the first time Burley has faced murder charges.

Pennsylvania State Trooper Jim Long says, "He was on parole.  He got out in March, so he hasn't been out for long."

But neighbors in Union Township say it was long enough for Burley to allegedly kill again, and they wonder why a convicted killer was back out on the streets in the first place.

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