The suspect in the murder of a Twentynine Palms man Monday night had been released from prison early and was on probation under California’s prison realignment plan, known as AB109. Police suspect Raymond Burney, 51, of Twentynine Palms, of shooting and killing a still-unidentified Twentynine Palms man about 9:40 Monday night in the 6300 block of Palmview Avenue. In April 2011, Burney accepted a plea bargain sentence of four years in exchange for a guilty plea to possession of cocaine base for sales. As a result of California Assembly Bill 109, Burney would serve about two years in county jail before being released on supervised probation. Under AB 109, prisoners with non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious convictions serve reduced sentences in county jails and are placed on supervised probation, as part of the state’s attempt to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to lower its prison population by 30,000 inmates. Raymond Burney was arraigned in Joshua Tree Superior Court Thursday and is being held in the West Valley Detention Center on $1,550,000 bail.


  • Rebecca F.

    I would like to point out that Raymond Burney would have served 2 years on his 4 year sentence BEFORE AB109. 1/2 time was in affect long before the early release program. It bothers me that this radio station, along with numerous other news organizations, go out of their way to point out that a person being accused of a crime is an “early-release” prisoner. Ever since the state has been ordered to reduce it’s prison population the media, police and other organizations have used fear to support their resistance to prison reform. With all due respect to the victim, Wayne Kerr has numerous convictions for trespassing and disorderly conduct while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, yet you chose not to address that in your article. We don’t know what happened that night that led to the shooting, but I do know that being an “early release” prisoner wasn’t the cause. People kill other people every day in this state who have never seen the inside of a prison. Changes need to be made to California’s correctional institutions, but that change will not be possible as long as articles like this inspire irrational fears and perpetuate the belief that all parolees are dangerous.

  • Joseph

    With all due respect,to your comment,and concerns Rebecca,Mr.Wayne Kerr has a family,he is my uncle,he might have had a few mister-miners,he was no animal,or a murderer unlike Mr.Raymond Burney. Who for some reason,felt the need to take his life,over an argument.If you have a problem,with the way the media writes it articles,then you take that up with the media,police and other organizations that use these type of incidents to instill fear, to support their resistance to prison reform. But trying to paint an image of my uncle,to make Mr. Burney reason for killing him look plausible,doesn’t ride well with my family,or I.The early release program,is a great way to alleviate over crowding in prisons,however if your an early release parolee,why would you have a gun in your possession,why would you risk going back to jail,if your already on the early release program?If you have a family members,or members that are being considered,for the early release program,then you find another platform,to push your agenda,this is not the place, or the time thank you .

  • koolie

    some people like to paint others black, but this is what I like to say to them if you don’t know Wayne Kerr drop it. Wayne was a human been not an animal, drugs was never one of his thing, if you said alcohol I’ll understand, but you can leave the drugs out. he was a very Loving person tried to help everyone, he had a family who Loved him very much, he chose to live out there by him self, so I’ll appreciate if you keep your taught to your self and let him rest in peace. I pray that one day you’ll family doesn’t have to go through what my family is going through right at this moment.

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