A Brown County jury has found George Burch guilty of the 2016 murder of Nicole VanderHeyden.
The jury presented an unanimous vote after a little over three hours of deliberations, weighing out what ended up being eight days of testimony.
Closing arguments on Thursday, pointed to DNA evidence of Burch and motive for VanderHeyden’s boyfriend Doug Detrie, who the defense said was the real killer.
District Attorney David Lasee told the jury, that the defense provided two different Doug Detries.
“Is he the drunk stupid guy at the bar, or his he a cold calculating killer?”
Defense attorney Lee Schuchart told the jury that the state’s case left some holes, and one of them is a murder weapon.
“No handgun was ever recovered, this missing murder weapon was never recovered. Are they in the pond behind the Detrie house? Are they in the East River? It is not our job to tell you that.”
Assistant District Attorney Mary Karrigan-Mares said the story had holes and the biggest was that Burch did not report Detrie because he did not want to snitch.
“You could identify that killer and take him off the street. You could make yourself safe by making sure police have the right man.”
District Attorney Lasee told the jury that if Burch was innocent, he had a chance to clear his name.
“You don’t call because you are guilty, and you know that you are going to be found guilty. If he really didn’t do this, whose DNA did he suspect was going to be on that body? The killer, you alert them right away.”