The murder trial of George Burch continues in a Wisconsin courtroom on Wednesday. Burch is charged with first-degree murder, as he’s accused of killing Nicole VanderHeyden, in May 2016. Burch and VanderHeyden allegedly met that same evening, but he insists that he didn’t do it. Watch live in the player above.
Burch has admitted that he was with VanderHeyden on the night she died. He claimed he was having sex with her in a car, which explains why investigators found his DNA on her body. Burch claims that her boyfriend, Douglass Detrie, found them, then killed the woman and threatened Burch at gunpoint, making him move the body to the spot where investigators later found her.
The prosecution rested their case on Tuesday, and the defense began calling witnesses. Dallas Kennedy, the babysitter who was watching VanderHeyden and Detrie’s child the night VanderHeyden disappeared, took the stand. She discussed a conversation she had with Detrie, where he gave her a very different account of what happened from what he told the court earlier in the trial. Kennedy said that after learning that VanderHeyden had died, Detrie reached out to her and she asked him what happened.
“I don’t know, she hit her head, and then she just wanted to walk home,” he replied, according to Kennedy.
This was very different from what Detrie said on the stand. He told the court that he was out drinking with friends the night VanderHeyden disappeared, and that he couldn’t find her. He said she had sent him angry text messages, and that when he went to another bar where he thought she might have been, she wasn’t there. He and a friend later looked for her, but couldn’t find her, he said, and then he went home.
The inconsistency here could help the defense, which is pointing the finger at Detrie. The jury, of course, doesn’t have to be totally convinced that Detrie did it, since he’s not on trial. The defense just needs to create enough doubt for them to believe it may not have been Burch.
Stay with Law&Crime.com and the Law&Crime Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Image via Brown County Jail]