State seeks death penalty in TBI agent’s murder
JACKSON, Tenn. — State prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty in the murder of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent back in 2016.
The defendant, Brenden Burns, was charged with one count of murder in the perpetration of an attempted robbery after allegedly shooting De’Greaun Frazier during an undercover drug operation in Jackson.
According to the paperwork, there were several aggravating circumstances that led them to the decision, including the fact the defendant was previously convicted of a felony “whose statutory elements involve the use of violence to the person”.
The death penalty can also be warranted, the state said, if the murder is committed by a defendant during a robbery or theft.
Frazier, a Shelby County native, worked with the Millington Police Department, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Memphis before being hired by the TBI in February 2016.
Frazier and several other agents were doing a controlled buy as part of an ongoing drug investigation at the time of his death. Burns was reportedly in the back seat of the car and tried to rob Frazier, at which time he was shot and killed.
Bruns was charged and held without bond in the Madison County Jail.
According to the TBI, Burns has a criminal history and has served three years at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex. From 2012 to as recently as this year, Burns had been locked up for drug possession, burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon, trying to run away from deputies and disorderly conduct.