Court orders Burch to pay thousands to murder victim's loved ones

George Burch at jury selection for his trial on Feb 16, 2018 (WBAY photo)

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Brown County judge has ordered convicted killer George Burch to pay more than $37,000 in restitution to the boyfriend and family of his victim, Nicole VanderHeyden.

The state says Burch was sentenced to life in prison for murdering the mother of three, whose body was found in a field in Bellevue in 2016. The state said Burch raped and killed her after she rejected his advances.

Judge John Zakowski awarded Douglass Detrie $23,405.01, far less than the $349,046.74 Detrie went to court seeking last month.

He awarded Detrie $2,360 for losses and expenses; $3,461.04 in lost wages during Burch's trial, when Detrie was sequestered; and $17,583.97 for counseling and associated costs.

In his ruling, Zakowski often said Detrie wasn't specific about some of his losses or didn't provide evidence of his claimed expenses. On some, Judge Zakowski decided Burch couldn't be held responsible for the costs.

Zakowski also awarded $6,223 to the victim's mother, Vicki Meyer, who requested that amount for lost wages and the cost of her daughter's headstone.

The judge awarded $2,440.35 to VanderHeyden's sister, Heather Meyer, and $1,224 to her brother, Brandon Meyer -- amounts they requested for lost wages.

Burch was ordered to pay an additional $4,526.78 to the Wisconsin Crime Victim Compensation Fund.

Judge Zakowski noted that Burch is serving life in prison and lacks financial resources or income, so he's leaving it to the state Department of Corrections to decide how Burch will pay the restitution.

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