George Burch testifies: Nicole VanderHeyden's boyfriend killed her

Published: Feb. 28, 2018 at 8:11 PM CST
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George Burch, standing trial for the murder of Ledgeview woman Nicole VanderHeyden, spent most of Wednesday on the witness, accusing VanderHeyden's boyfriend of killing the mother of three.

“I noticed there was a fairly attractive blonde woman standing next to me,” said Burch.

After meeting VanderHeyden at Richard Craniums Bar, Burch said they drove to her Ledgeview home, parked outside and were having sex in the backseat when he says he was knocked out.

“The next thing I remember, apart from us having intercourse, is literally waking up on the ground outside the truck, laying in the grass/curb area,” said Burch.

When Burch came to, he said VanderHeyden’s boyfriend, Douglass Detrie, had him at gunpoint. At that point, Burch said he considered ‘running, screaming or trying to attack the person who had a firearm’ but he didn’t think he could do it without getting hurt.

Burch said he didn’t get a chance to confront Detrie until after Detrie forced him to get rid of VanderHeyden’s body in a field off Hoffman Road.

“That's when I turned and with everything I had, I lunged at him and pushed him as hard as I possibly could at that time,” said Burch.

Burch said he ran to his blazer and used his phone for directions home. While on his way home, Burch said he panicked and threw VanderHeyden’s belongings, which included her purse and clothing, out the window.

Once Burch got back to his home, the home he shared with Ed and Lynda Jackson, he said he got in the shower, washed his clothes because there was blood on them and then went to his room.

“In your version of events, you're assaulted, held at gunpoint, you carry the mangled body of a woman to her final resting place and the next day you're going fishing with your buddy with a smile on your face and not a care in the world?” said David Lasee, Brown County District Attorney.

“It was a preplanned event, sir and I wouldn’t say, ‘Not a care in the world’,” said Burch. “That definitely would not be something I would say.”

The defense asks Burch why he didn't call 911 to report the crime, or tell his friends about it. He says he was afraid to speak to police because he was on probation for Grand Larceny in Virginia. He worried about going back to prison for five years.

That's where Day Eight testimony ended. Judge Zakowski excused the jury and announced Thursday would be for final witnesses, rebuttal witnesses, and closing arguments.

The judge will then give the jury instructions for deliberations.

Action 2 News reporters Andrea Hay and Brittany Schmidt are on Twitter providing real time updates from the courtroom. Follow @AndreaHayNews and @BritSchmidtNews.