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Fergus Falls uncle sentenced to 12 years for murdering nephew

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - A Fergus Falls man who pleaded guilty to murdering his nephew was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on Friday. On the first day of testimony during a trial in Otter Tail County District Court in October, Michael Alan...

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Michael Alan Burris

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A Fergus Falls man who pleaded guilty to murdering his nephew was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on Friday.

On the first day of testimony during a trial in Otter Tail County District Court in October, Michael Alan Burris halted proceedings by deciding to plead guilty.

He admitted to fatally shooting his nephew, Scott Burris, during an argument in the uncle’s garage in May 2012.

The elder Burris admitted his nephew already had put down a gun when the uncle picked it up and shot him in the head. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

On Friday, Burris was sentenced to 12½ years in prison, with credit for about 11 months already served in prison. He’ll be eligible for parole after roughly eight years.

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As a condition of the sentencing for the eldest Burris, the family of Scott Burris will be notified when he is to be released.

Michael Kyle Burris, the son of the 66-year-old uncle, admitted to helping his father dispose of his cousin’s body. The 24-year-old Burris was sentenced to 20 years of probation.

Authorities began investigating the disappearance of 33-year-old Scott Burris on May 24, 2012, when an abandoned vehicle with blood inside was found north of Elizabeth in Otter Tail County. He was found June 15 in the Otter Tail River west of Orwell Dam.

According to the criminal complaints, an inmate in the Otter Tail County Jail told authorities that around March 2013, Michael Kyle Burris said he and his dad had killed his cousin because of a drug debt in which Scott Burris reportedly owed his uncle about $20,000.

 

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