Burch's attorneys want to introduce Detrie's domestic history at trial

George Burch sits in on a motion hearing on February 7, 2018. (Photo credit: WLUK)

BROWN COUNTY (WLUK) -- Dozens of motions were discussed in Brown County Court Wednesday regarding what can or cannot be presented during George Burch’s murder trial.

Burch is charged with killing Nicole VanderHeyden in May 2016.

One thing the defense is asking the judge to reconsider is his decision to not allow evidence that could show a possible history of domestic violence for Douglass Detrie. Detrie was Nicole VanderHeyden's boyfriend.

Detrie was originally arrested for the murder, but was never charged and was released from custody after spending two weeks in jail.

Investigators say DNA puts Burch at the murder scene and the field where VanderHeyden's body was found.

However, Burch has said Detrie knocked him out and then forced him at gunpoint to dispose of VanderHeyden's body.

The defense says a different state court ruling is why it wants the judge to make a reconsideration.

The defense believes showing a pattern of domestic abuse with Detrie would help show motive and opportunity that he killed VanderHeyden.

However, the state says Detrie hasn't been convicted of any domestic abuse crimes, so any evidence related to that type of behavior shouldn't be introduced.

“If he's done these things in the past, the jury needs to know, because they're going to be left wondering how was this even possible?” said Scott Stebbins, one of Burch’s attorneys.

“Certainly there would be a trial in a trial here because there are allegations that were absolutely unproven,” said Brown County District Attorney David Lasee.

Detrie is charged in a domestic abuse incident involving VanderHeyden's younger sister. The incident happened after VanderHeyden's murder and is going through the court system right now.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for next Friday.

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