The soldier who was given a life sentence for racially motivated killings in a Fayetteville neighborhood 12 years ago has died in a federal prison. James Burmeister died yesterday morning at a federal prison in
Missouri. N-C Department of Correction spokesman Keith Acree says Burmeister died of natural causes, but he cited federal privacy laws and wouldn't elaborate. The sister of one of the victims says she was told by a prison official that Burmeister died of a brain tumor. Karon Knox says she's sad to hear that Burmeister has died, and says she hopes he made peace with God before he died. Burmeister shot and killed Knox's brother Michael James and James' friend, Jackie Burden, during a skinhead initiation ritual in Fayetteville in December 1995. Burmeister and another soldier were sentenced to life in prison for the murders. A third soldier involved was freed after he testified against the other two.