Shock rippled through a courtroom in Martinez, Calif. Friday after a man accused of gunning down his ex-girlfriend and another man at a toll plaza dropped a bombshell confession.
"I did it. I'm guilty. Just kill me." Nathaniel Burris said during his plea hearing in the Contra Costa County Superior Court.
"What's the point of waiting 30 years?" Burris asked the judge. "Just give me the death penalty."
But the judge refused to accept Burris' guilty plea. He also repeatedly interupted the judge to tell her he didn't need a public defender. Judge Leslie Landau said that decision will be made next week.
Even though Burris pretty much made the case for prosecutors, the judge will determine whether he is capable of representing himself or if an attorney will be appointed to represent him.
Prosecutors charged 46-year-old Burris, of Richmond, with two counts of murder Thursday for allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend, Debbie Ross, and her friend, Chuck Everett, at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza during the Tuesday evening commute.
Burris has also been charged with enhancements for the use of a shotgun in the two murders and the special circumstances of committing multiple murders and lying in wait, charges that make him eligible for the death penalty.
Ross, 51, arrived at work that afternoon in Ersie "Chuck" Everette's pickup truck.
While the truck was parked in the toll plaza parking lot, Burris allegedly slashed its tires and then watched the vehicle through binoculars until Everette, a 58-year-old Golden Gate Transit bus driver, arrived and got in.
Just before 6 p.m., during the height of the evening commute, Burris allegedly approached the vehicle and shot Everett multiple times in the head and chest with a shotgun.
The gunman then walked across lanes of traffic over to toll booth No. 3, where Ross was working as a toll collector and began firing on her, California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said.
Ross, who had worked for Caltrans for eight years, died from multiple shotgun wounds to her upper body and arms, a deputy coroner said.
Burris was arrested in Placer County in the Sierra foothills after a nine-hour manhunt. He did not resist arrest and was taken into custody without incident, California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said.
Richmond police said that Ross and Burris lived together in the 400 block of Second Street in Richmond. The two separated the day before the shooting after living together for 13 years.
Everett's brother told NBC Bay Area that Ross and Everett were planning to marry. Ersie Everett Jr. said his big brother was looking forward to a retirement full of love, but a gunman took his life before their life together could begin.
Bay City News contributed to this report.