Victim’s sister to killer: ‘Bon voyage… to hell’

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Submitted: Sat, 03/09/2013 - 3:47am
Updated: Mon, 03/11/2013 - 5:46pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A death penalty case in Brunswick County ended today before it began. Carl Alston, charged with the kidnapping, rape and murder of of a Leland mother more than four years ago pleaded guilty after four days of jury selection.

Burns's remains were found in the trunk of her burnt out car in July 2008. Her family says she was disabled from a drunk driving accident making her unable to fight off Alston.

On the July 2008 night he killed Burns, 49, Alston said he hitchhiked to a Wilmington sex shop and then to the Burger King near the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. The District Attorney says Burns was driving home from a downtown Wilmington bar, but investigators still are not clear on how she and Alston connected.

"What we do know, two hours and 45 minutes after leaving this bar, her car is on fire, and she is in it," DA Jon David said.

Even after a DNA test proved Alston raped Burns, he never confessed to the crimes. It was not until he told cellmates in two different prisons that he admitted to what he did.

Friday, a photo slideshow of Burns played in the background while loved ones told the court about their sister, their mother, their friend.

"My mother had so much to do and give this world, and you have just taken it away," Carrie Burns said.

"She wasn't there the day I picked out my wedding dress," Valerie's daughter Casey Burns said. "She won't be there to help me get ready on my wedding day."

Taking the prosecution's plea deal, Alston will spend life in prison without parole and avoiding a possible death sentence had the case continued to trial. "He realized it was in his best interest to come in here and handle the matter today," defense attorney James Payne said.

As the victim's sister Nan faced the man that changed her family's life for the last time, she had a clear message. "Bon voyage on your journey, and may it lead you straight to hell," she said. With the case now behind them, family and friends say they are having a Valerie weekend to celebrate her life.

It will be full of all her favorite foods and movies.


  • J Sutt says:

    The post I read below is disgusting. You are making excuses for a low life, while disrespecting the victim. Keep in mind, this was not a usual murder. She was tortured, andhe should never see the light of day again. I knew the family very well at the time of this tragedy. She didn’t deserve to leave the earth that way. I will never forget the talks I had with her. She would always try to make you smile. Her eyes shined bright, as they do in memory. Celebrate her life,

  • RamosandPayneinjusticeinc says:

    This has been another miscarriage of justice! You can’t make me believe that after almost 5 years the DA suddenly has all of this evidence that incriminated Alston? Really? But guess what? I know all the players, don’t I JR? There are at least 3 more players…clues suggest that a drawing found yielded several clues that include: terms like point man, 357 a 40 caliber casing to hold a 9 mm, describing other things like chevy, snowfield, live wire, ban”g”,762 in theshape of a bullet, money bag, drug bag, wolfridge, bell swamp, just ice 762 again with a bullet, you assholes and dummies it happened in bell swamp! This woman was in the neighborhood smoking crack! This so called crime scene was not the orignal one!

  • misjudgment says:

    First and foremost there are alot of tragedy & victims in this matter for both families. To the comments below no matter what a person does in life there is always a label for whatever reason. Secondly, no one is making excuses but stating facts that the media, district attorney,no lawyers provided. So yes misjudgments are involved & lastly only GOD judges and all negative comments,ill harm or threats are being counted.

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    I pray an idiot such as yourself does not breed and further pollute the earth. This moron is as guilty as you are stupid. The only players you know are the idiots you sit around with all day smoking crack with. Shut up and go find a job genius.

  • J Sutt says:

    It makes me sick to see people support someone who is wrong. I’m bias on this issue. I dated the Ms. Burns daughter during the time this happened. I’ve thought of him frequently since then. I’m happy he was caught, but his punishment should’ve been worse. He punked out bc he knew he was going to die. Plain and simple. How can you dispute that his sperm isn’t evidence. I was aware of its existance years ago. And as to the witnesses, he gave details to inmates. He is scum, and deserves to die slow, like she did. He took a great person from this world, and left a void in the hearts of her family and ppl that knew her. I wish the family peace and I hope God protects them, so they will never go thru this again. #JSUTTON

  • elizabeth says:

    Murder, kidnapping, rape, are still murder, kidnapping, rape no matter where the victim may have been at, what he or she was wearing, or what he or she was doing.

    Justice rarely prevails on this earth, but hallelujah sometimes the elements just come together like a bolt of lightning and bam, justice.

    All the bible verses about judging not were never meant to excuse people from their actions on earth. There is justice both here and in the next world for those that don’t repent and accept his name. He should feel darn lucky if he gets life with no chance of parole. I hope he uses it to somehow redeem himself in his time on earth. However, I would never judge the victim’s family for wishing him to hell. This man still has time whereas the victim does not.

  • emo says:

    may god be with this family now and always!! I am sorry for your loss. it seems so senseless unfair and i could not imagine this so i pray for good things for you all i found this story looking for something else but i could not help but to read ! my father was born charelston wv i use to say its bad here in oh but its every where god is the only
    way this is whats wrong with this world people need to teach there kids about god !! amen god bless you

  • Guest2013 says:

    As I sit and read some of these comments, it hurts to see how much anger is displayed when someone tries to give a comforting word, I'm sure the family doesn't want to see people arguing and shooting names and/or judgements, they want to celebrate this woman's life. No matter how big or how small a sin is a sin!! We will all be judged by what we say, think, feel or act out, etc. Nobody and I repeat NOBODY is perfect, we ALL make mistakes, some just make bigger ones than others, nonetheless we do make them and what you do unto others whether it be good or bad comes back on us ten fold. May this woman rest in peace and the Lord comfort the family, now that there is some kind of closure.

  • Guest2020 says:

    So, she deserved to be burned alive because she was smoking crack. He confessed. He did it. He did not get the punishment he so deserves, thanks to that idiot we have for a District Attorney.

  • angry1 says:

    I just want to say to Ramos and pain that you shouldn’t speak on a subject that you know absolutely NOTHING about. how could you defend such a low life pos you are disgusting. Let’s get some things straight here 1.) the beautiful lady that was murdered had NO drugs in her system at the time of death ( so NO she wasn’t smoking crack.) and 2.) our judicial system is a completely slow process especially when your handling a death penalty case. The evidence that they found on day 1 is what put that pos in jail and is the reason he’s never getting out. If anyone is smoking crack it seems to be you. Get your facts straight.

  • BC Native says:

    I’m a bit perplexed why someone would get on this website and post supposed details of the crime and imply that they weren’t considered in Alston’s case. It is really easy to spew all this information after he has already taken a plea. If indeed he did not act alone, then I wonder if all your knowledge was provided to either law enforcement or Alston’s attorneys. With all the specific details in your post I would think someone needed to know about this prior to his trial starting. Defense attorneys can only do so much when representing someone (guilty or innocent). If they don’t know about the information, then how are they supposed to follow up? So my question is, did you impart these “facts” only after the plea or did you take the initiative to share it with someone that could actually do something with it? If you are just now coming forward, then you are the one that will have to live with the fact that you didn’t do something sooner. I wouldn’t want to live with that on my conscience.

  • Friend says:

    I knew one of her children personally. And I can’t believe someone would be so cruel and sick to someone else. He shouldn’t have been offered a plea. He should rot. I hope he gets what he deserves.

  • Guest Reply says:

    This took almost 5 years to come to this case?
    What…is this like “Gun Smoke” or “True Grit” where the law has to wait for the Judge to come to this part of the territory?????….?????

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    be worth the wait if the judge was a hanging judge… speaking of True Grit!

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    What a massive pile of steaming #$%!. Do us tax payers a favor and hang yourself.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    was Pat Hingle of Carolina Beach; and the movie was Hang Em High with Clint Eastwood.

    Now this low life will get 3 squares a day; better internet and cable service than most folks pay for; likely get a college degree and find salvation — all at the taxpayer’s expense.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    As I was speaking to James A. Westerfield that played Judge Parker in the original True Grit with John Wayne. Issac Parker was nicknamed “The Hanging Judge” and the reference was to an actual character while the movie was fictitious. No discredit to Pat Hingle as I loved him in everything he did. One of my favorite characters was Daniel Webster Tucker…. Send the lowlife to either however as the outcome would be the same….

    Hang Em High!!!

  • renoGuest says:

    Vote me in as judge i will not turn them loose i will build a platform in front of the courthouse and hang them the same day and call WWAY to broadcast the hanging.

  • Just-ice says:

    So, we’re back to hanging? Since we are all imperfect, what if there is more to this? And I hopethat WWAY wouldn’t air a hanging! Reno, reform while you have a chance!

  • erica willock says:

    Carrie – we are thinking of you, as we have been for a long time now. You will always be in our hearts…
    Erica and Janice

  • Angewidert says:

    some twisted, under-educated jerk like you crawls out from under a rock and piously re-interprets the Bible for the rest of us. And the message is always the same; only God can judge us, not man. It’s simply not true and isn’t even scriptural.

    “with measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” tranlated into modern English (you’re probably one of those jerks who thinks only antique English is God’s word), it means ” For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” That means that if we commit a similar henious act, we should be judged in the same way as we now judge this piece of human garbage.

    The difference between us and him is that he’s a piece of murdering scum and we’re not. We don’t have to worry about being judged like this piece of crap. We didn’t do what he did. How can you be too stupid to realize that? Moron!

  • Judgement says:

    Who are we to sit in judgement of Carl Alston? Yes her family lost a loved one in a terrible way and no one is justifying what he did. I’m sure he’s not proud of what happened or what he put his family through as well. But be careful of what you say because this too could be your family member sitting on the defendant’s side.All the comments about how he should kill his self or how someone should rape or murder him makes no more sense than the crime he committed. Matthew 7:1-2 JUDGE NOT,that ye be not judged.For with what judgement ye judged, ye shall be judged: and with measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Vengeance is mine said the Lord not vengeance of the people.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Matthew 7 was not written as an excuse to absolve people from suffering the consequences of their actions. The Bible is very clear on what should happen to murderers.

    Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

    Genesis 9:6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

    I Timothy 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

    Exodus 21:14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

    Numbers 35:20-21 But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.

    Deuternomny 19:11-12But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

  • Guest2020 says:

    My decision not to vote for Jon David is once again confirmed. This family did not get justice. Justice would be this man being put to death. He kidnapped, raped and then burned that woman alive. He deserves to be under the prison, not in it.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    Remove this garbage from the gene pool…..

  • Karen B says:

    I’m sure he avoided the death penalty with his plea. Unfortunately.

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