Musical memorial for murder victim

GOLDEN, Colo. — Friends and family paid tribute to man who was murdered in his home in Golden on March 15, 2014.

Billy Burchette loved Rock and Roll and on Sunday, friends, family and fans paid tribute to his legacy through music at the Buffalo Rose in Golden.

“Playing songs from Tom Petty, Neil Young, Stones, Dillion and other favorites,” said Chris Thomas, Billy’s band mate.

The 54-year-old was known by many as the lead guitarist and vocalist for the local band, The Resonators.

“We all loved the man and are just here to celebrate his life,” said Thomas.

Chris Thomas jammed with Billy and the band since 2004.

He said the best way to remember the local rocker was by focusing on how much he loved life.

“Viva la fiesta. This is how he would want us to remember him and for us to live our lives,” said a friend, who spoke in front of the group.

Billy’s love for music and life brought people together and his memorial wasn’t any different.

“Hard to believe he’s gone, I don’t even feel he’s gone.  He shared so much,” said Grace Burchette, Billy’s Mother.

Billy’s parents said they are only focusing on their son’s passion for life and not how he died.

Fire crews found Billy dead inside his charred bedroom two weeks ago in Golden.

Police later determined that he was murdered.  They arrested 22-year-old Thomas LaPerch, who had been living in Billy’s basement apartment.

“I don’t like the way my brother died… But I loved the way he lived and I hope it is an inspiration to everybody to really go out and pursue your dreams,” said Charisse Burchette, Billy’s sister.

And it’s that passion for life that friends and family say they’ll miss most about Billy.

Friends also sold t-shirts and held a silent auction at Buffalo Rose to raise money for a charity that provides instruments and music lessons to children.