Recording of ex-pastor played for jurors

September 28, 2011 3:49:21 PM PDT
For the first time since his capital murder trial started, we are hearing from former pastor Tracy Burleson, but he is not testifying on the stand.

Jurors listened to an audio recording of the former pastor. In his taped statements to homicide investigators, Burleson tried to paint himself as a loving, caring husband. He said even though his marriage to his wife Paulette was crumbling, he still loved her and claimed he never wanted her dead.

During a 57-minute taped interview with investigators, ex-pastor Tracy Burleson repeatedly stated he had no motive to have his wife killed and claimed he knew nothing about her life insurance policy.

His statements are a stark contrast to Tuesday's dramatic testimony from his son, William Fuller. The accused triggerman, Fuller testified his father promised him $2,000 in life insurance money if he killed Paulette Burleson.

"As his mother, I was proud of him for telling the truth," said Sharon Fuller, mother of William Fuller. "I don't like what happened, but the truth had to be revealed."

Jurors listened intently as Burleson explained to investigators that his marriage to the deceased was on shaky ground and how their relationship was often volatile.

"She wasn't an angel. Paulette has a temper. Look at the bruises on me. These are from her. She was very jealous and controlling," Burleson said on the recording. "My wife was out of control. She was doing all sorts of things I didn't like. No one in my family liked her. I was always a conflict with my family and I was in the middle."

Paulette Burleson's sisters were in the courtroom and didn't buy his statements for a second.

"He's lying. He's a big liar," said Joyce Bingham, one of the victim's sisters. "You know, he's supposed to be a man of God. What kind of man of God would sit up and lie?"

Burleson was shot in the head execution style in her garage in May of last year. Prosecutors say the ex-pastor wanted his wife dead so he could be with his mistress, Tyonne Palmer, who at the time was also romantically involved with William Fuller.

If convicted, Burleson could face life in prison without parole.

Load Comments