53ºF

Man accused of killing priest returned to Burke County Jail

Steven Murray faces murder charge where Father Rene Robert's body was found

Steven Murray at Burke County bond hearing
Steven Murray at Burke County bond hearing

The man accused of killing a St. Augustine priest was returned to the Burke County Jail on Saturday after spending several weeks in the Jefferson County Jail near Louisville, Georgia.

Steven Murray was initially moved to Jefferson County after he tried to hang himself using a bed sheet, Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey said.

Coursey told WRDW that Murray was put on suicide watch and Jefferson County Jail’s facilities are better prepared for suicidal inmates.

While he was in the Jefferson County Jail, Murray damaged a sprinkler head, flooding his holding cell, Coursey said in a statement released Monday.

Murray also pulled a metal drain pipe connected to the toilet loose, Coursey said.

Investigators said Murray kidnapped Father Rene Robert and drove him to northeast Georgia where he shot him. Robert’s body was found in a wooded part of northeast Georgia just over a week after he was last seen in St. Augustine.

Murray, 28, faces the charge of malice murder.