On the next Murder Calls, the murder of Arthur Burney of Coweta, Oklahoma, will be featured. Murder Calls is an Investigation Discovery crime series that is centered around the 911 calls in murder cases. Arthur ‘Art’ Burney was shot dead in his barn just after Valentine’s Day six years ago. His wife, Patricia Burney, his 14-year-old daughter, Michelle Burney, and Michelle’s 19-year-old boyfriend, Michael Richardson, were all arrested in his death. Art Burney’s case was also profiled on the ID show Fatal Vows. In that documentary, his story was told by his first wife and his daughters from the previous marriage. Murder Calls’ episode is titled “Dark Horse.”
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Dead Man Found In Horse Barn
Police were summoned to a scene in Coweta, Oklahoma. It was the home of Arthur and Pat Burney. Pat told investigators that she arrived home on her anniversary and found her 53-year-old husband, Arthur Burney, dead on the barn floor. At first glance, it looked as if he victim had struck his head after he dropped to the ground during a heart attack.
And this is the story that Patricia Burney told in the hours after Arthur Lee Burney’s death. But an autopsy report confirmed that he had been shot with a small caliber rifle. The gunshot wound was in the brow area, which made it hard to detect. Now investigators were operating from the standpoint that this was a homicide.
Detectives Think Wife Did It
They focused in on Patricia Burney, a former hot shot waitress who had met Arthur 16 years prior at a bar. According to police, Arthur Burney married Patricia Meeks in Las Vegas 1995. They seemed happy by all accounts and had a baby named Michelle. By then Arthur was middle-aged with two grown daughters from his previous marriage. In fact, it appeared that Art had left his first wife to be with Patricia.
For the sake of their father, Arthur Burney’s daughters got along with Pat, and so did his first wife. They wouldn’t have thought that she could be dangerous.
Investigators say that Patricia Burney grew tired and bored of her husband, who always wanted to stay home and tend to his horses. The drinking and smoking party girl was seeing another man and was in financial debt just before Arthur Burney’s death.
Patricia enticed her daughter, Michelle Burney, to help her kill Arthur. They tried poisoning him and tainting his food or drinks. When that didn’t work, they asked Michelle’s online boyfriend, Michael Richardson, to do it.
On their 16th wedding anniversary, Patricia and Michelle picked up Michael Richardson, brought him back to the barn, then gave him a gun to kill Arthur and promised him $6,000, according to Oklahoma’s News-9.
The Daily Mail describes how the murder took place.
“Richardson said he was instructed by Patricia Burney to take a .22-calibre rifle hidden behind a bedroom door and ‘shoot Arthur Burne.’ He said that Patricia Burney told her daughter to ‘take [him] out back for practice shots’ on the property.
“Later, Richardson reportedly hid in the barn’s tack room – where saddles and bridles for horse-riding are kept – and shot Burney when he came in.”
Police say Arthur Burney was ambushed while he was inside the barn. Devastated family members and friends were truly distraught by his murder. Police recovered the murder weapon after Michelle Burney confided to a teen friend about the murder.
- Patricia Burney was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
- Michael Richardson was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
- Michelle Burney was sent to a juvenile facility.
To see how the story ends, watch Murder Calls this Monday, January 30, at 10/9 p.m. Central on Investigation Discovery (ID). The case was also featured on a case of Snapped.
[Featured Image by Mark Duncan/AP Images]