A North Carolina man revealed he had no conscience in 2019 when he brutally raped and murdered his fifteen-year-old daughter, who was Black. Joshua Lee Burgess, 35, “psychologically and sexually tortured her for twenty-two hours,” reports claim. The victim, fifteen-year-old Zaria, met an end that no human being should ever meet. And to make it even worse, her rapist and killer were her own father!

At the time of her death, Zaria was living with her biological mother. However, she was with Burgess over the weekend. Once he raped and murdered his child, he decided to turn himself in to the sheriff’s office.

Burgess was arrested for the murder of his daughter. He confessed to his horrible crime. He tortured her for nearly an entire day, raping her repeatedly until he ended her life by slitting her throat. He gave his address to investigators, and they went to his home, where they found her mangled body. Now, Burgess has learned his fate.

The Union County District Attorney’s Office said that the jury deliberated for only three hours at the end of the killer’s three-week trial and came back to the courtroom with the verdict of guilty.

Burgess was found guilty of the rape and murder of his child. And so it was up to the judge to provide the final nail in the man’s coffin. And he did so by sentencing Burgess to death.

The attorney’s office said: “This was truly an especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel killing of an innocent child. This case was emotionally taxing for everyone involved. We continue to grieve with and pray for Zaria’s mother.”

The jury found Burgess guilty of one count of first-degree murder and one count of statutory rape, three counts of a statutory sex offense, and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

In addition to his death sentence, Burgess was sentenced to an additional minimum of seventy-six years in prison.

Union County Sheriff Tony Underwood said: “It’s just evil. I mean, murder is murder, but to kill your own flesh and blood like this, there’s just no way to explain it other than it’s just an evil crime.”

He added: “I think this sends a strong message that we’re not going to tolerate this type of behavior in Union County. And if you do, we’re gonna do everything in our power to make sure that you are brought to justice.”

It is not clear if Burgess will try to appeal this decision. At one point during the trial, Burgess’s attorney sought to have his confession stripped from the record. However, that request was denied, and the jury was able to hear him confess to raping and murdering his fifteen-year-old daughter.

Zaria was a high school sophomore when her father murdered her. She participated on the dance team and in the marching band at Monroe High School.

Burgess is currently on death row in Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.