George Burch has been found guilty of the murder of Nicole VanderHeyden
4:48 PM, Mar 1, 2018
12:43 PM, Mar 8, 2018
GREEN BAY, Wis. - Almost 22 months after her death, Nicole VanderHeyden's killer is convicted.
"My heart goes out to Nicole VanderHeyden, to her family, to the people who loved her," District Attorney David Lasee said.
VanderHeyden's family and friend heard a guilty verdict and let emotions take control, shedding tears in the courtroom.
"Just a lot of hugs, a lot of satisfaction," Lasee said. "Obviously they know this isn't going to bring Nikki back, but they're satisfied that justice is done."
Lasee says despite the lengthy trial, this was a straightforward case, with all of the evidence pointing to Burch as the killer.
"It's not any one piece of evidence," Lasee said. "Certainly the use of technology throughout this case was instrumental in helping us present to the jury what happened."
In court, prosecutors argued that Burch's DNA was on VanderHeyden's body, her clothes, and the murder weapon.
They say cell phone data puts him at the murder scene and where VanderHeyden's body was found.
"As we believe we indicated, the case was relatively straightforward from our position," Lasee said.
Throughout the trial, Burch's defense argued that another man was responsible for VanderHeyden's killing.
They maintain her boyfriend, Doug Detrie, committed the crime and forced Burch to move VanderHeyden's body.
Both men left the courtroom after hearing the verdict, one free and the other to prison.
Burch will return for sentencing in May on a conviction of first-degree intentional homicide.