Inmate tip led to Burris arrestsPublished 11:24am Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Following more than a year of investigation, including interviews with multiple people and polygraph exams with the two suspects, the sheriff’s office appeared to get a break in the Scott Burris murder case July 15. According to the criminal complaint, an inmate in the Otter Tail County Jail told authorities that around March 2013 Michael Kyle Burris said he and his dad killed his cousin because of a drug debt.
Michael Alan Burris, 64, and Michael Kyle Burris, 23, both formerly of Fergus Falls, were arrested Monday in Mesa, Ariz. They’ve each been charged with one felony count of second-degree murder. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Autopsy results showed Scott Burris, 33, died from a small caliber gunshot wound to the head.
Scott Burris was reportedly last seen alive in May 2012 at the residence of his uncle and cousin, where he had allegedly gone to pick up drugs. Scott Burris reportedly owed his uncle about $20,000.
During the conversation with the inmate and Michael Kyle Burris, he reportedly said that he and his father went to Scott Burris’ home until he came out, and there was reportedly a weapon in the back of his father’s truck. They allegedly transported the body in the back of the truck.
Michael Kyle Burris also allegedly told the inmate that he couldn’t handle the stress of knowing that he and his dad killed his cousin.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office started its investigation May 24, 2012 when an abandoned vehicle with blood inside was found north of Elizabeth. Scott Burris was listed as a missing person until he was found June 15, 2012 in the Otter Tail River west of Orwell Dam.
Cell phone records for Scott Burris reportedly showed numerous calls from Michael Alan Burris and Michael Kyle Burris up until the disappearance May 22, 2012. However, there were no phone calls from Michael Alan Burris or Michael Kyle Burris to Scott Burris between May 22, 2012 and June 15, 2012.
Authorities seized a .22 caliber firearm from the home of Michael Alan Burris and Michael Kyle Burris, in the 1100 block of North Oak Street in Fergus Falls, July 10, 2012 while conducting a search warrant. The weapon matched the characteristics of the bullet used to kill Scott Burris, the report says. Both Michael Alan Burris and Michael Kyle Burris failed polygraph exams given by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in July 2012 when questioned about what happened to Scott Burris. During the polygraph interview, Michael Alan Burris reportedly said he was the last person to see Scott Burris alive.
On Aug. 2, 2012, a detective arranged a recorded phone call from Roger Burris to his brother Michael Alan Burris, where Roger Burris questioned his brother about the death of Scott Burris. “I asked you straight to your face if you had anything to do with Scott… are you going to come clean with me, brother, or not?” Roger Burris reportedly said. Michael Alan Burris responded, “I’m coming clean with you man.”
Michael Alan Burris reportedly said it was out of his hands and Scott Burris had left with two guys. “I thought maybe you would tell me the truth, but I guess you won’t. So you got anything to tell me?” Roger Burris reportedly asked. Michael Alan Burris reportedly responded, “Not right now Rog, it’s going to take longer than that.”
Michael Alan Burris and Michael Kyle Burris remain in the Maricopa County Jail awaiting extradition proceedings.