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Man who stabbed girlfriend in parking lot pleads no contest in her killing

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, at 6:04 p.m.

A man who stabbed his girlfriend in a south Wichita K-Mart parking lot has pleaded no contest in her killing, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Eric J. Avila, 40, on Tuesday entered his plea to reduced charges of second-degree murder and kidnapping in the killing of 35-year-old Alina Burkman, D.A. spokeswoman Georgia Cole said. Burkman was pronounced dead at a Wichita hospital on March 8 about 30 minutes after she was stabbed twice in the parking lot of K-Mart, 4830 S. Broadway.

Avila, of Wichita, was originally charged with first-degree premeditated murder in her death. His sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 27 in Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens’ courtroom, Cole said.

Police have said a dispute erupted between Avila, then 39, and Burkman after the pair left a nearby hotel from which they had been evicted. Emergency crews found both with stab wounds after responding to the disturbance shortly after 10 that evening.

Avila, who was stabbed in the chest and abdomen during the argument, was released into police custody after recovering from critical injuries. He is being held in Sedgwick County jail on a $500,000 bond.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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