Former Gorman athlete arrested in slaying of ex-girlfriend

A former Bishop Gorman basketball player and the son of a former UNLV basketball player was arrested on a murder charge related to the November slaying of his ex-girlfriend.

Justin "Spider" Burns, 27, of Las Vegas was arrested in Jackson, Miss., with help from U.S. marshals, the FBI and the Leake County sheriff's office.

Burns is the son of Michael "Spiderman" Burns, who played four seasons in the late '70 and '80s for coach Jerry Tarkanian's Rebels.

Burns was wanted in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, Michele Carson, 25, a West Covina, Calif., resident.

Carson's body was found Nov. 7 in a south valley desert area by target shooters.

According to his arrest report, Burns was the last person to be seen with Carson and had argued with her the night before she was killed.

Burns reportedly told friends he "killed his girlfriend and burned her in the desert," the report said.

In the weeks after Carson's body was found, Michael Burns refused to cooperate with police about his son's whereabouts, the report said.

Justin Burns, a top-200 high school prospect, played at Cal State Fullerton for three seasons, from 2004 to 2007. In his junior and senior seasons, he averaged more than 10 points per game.

In a profile written before the 2006-2007 season on Cal State's website, Burns was described as having "gone from a gangly suspect to a prospective All-Big West Conference performer during his two-season career."

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.


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