MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A convicted felon was sentenced to life in prison Monday for the 2016 killing of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent.
Brenden Burns pleaded guilty to felony murder and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of Special Agent De’Greaun Frazier, Madison County District Attorney Jody S. Pickens said. Frazier, 35, was killed during an undercover drug investigation in Jackson in August 2016.
Burns, 24, received a sentence of life in prison without parole in a plea deal that resulted from discussions between prosecutors and defense attorneys in the run-up to a trial scheduled in November, Pickens said.
Frazier was the first agent in the history of the state police agency to be killed in the line of duty.
TBI is building a new laboratory and regional headquarters named after Frazier in Jackson, about 100 miles east of Memphis. In a statement, TBI Director David Rausch called Frazier, who went by “Dee,” a great agent.
“There is no way to make what happened to him right, but this plea allows for a sense of justice for the family,” Rausch said.
Frazier was working with other agents and narcotics officers on a drug investigation when he met a person for a controlled buy in a car in Jackson, the TBI has said. The person that Frazier met pulled out a firearm in an apparent robbery attempt and fired at least once, hitting the agent.
Frazier died later at a hospital. Burns was arrested a short distance away.
Frazier was married and had worked as a police officer in Millington before joining the TBI.
The agent’s widow said his family is grateful that a resolution has been reached in the case.
“We miss Dee every day and hold dear to our memories,” Shannon Frazier said in a statement.