Archived Story

M.A. Burris pleads not guilty

Published 4:58pm Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The former Fergus Falls man who allegedly tried, from an Arizona jail, to hire someone to kill three people, pleaded not guilty Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Michael Alan Burris, 65, entered the plea at his arraignment for felony conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. He remains in custody in Maricopa County. He’s been in jail since he was arrested Aug. 12 in Mesa, Ariz. for the murder of his nephew, Scott Burris, who died from a single gunshot wound last year.

His next court appearance, for an initial pre-trial conference is scheduled for Jan. 10.

Michael Burris and his son, Michael Kyle Burris, 23, are both charged in Otter Tail County with felony second-degree murder.

Michael Alan Burris has fought extradition, and the charge in Maricopa County has delayed his extradition to Minnesota. A Governor’s Warrant has been issued to bring him back to Minnesota to face the murder charge in Otter Tail County.

The warrant still stands, but Arizona is holding him right now, according to Assistant Otter Tail County Attorney Michelle Eldien.

According to the criminal complaint for the conspiracy charge, Michael Alan Burris asked someone within the jail if he or someone he knew would be willing to kill three people for him, including his ex-wife, her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s wife. Michael Alan Burris was reportedly willing to pay $2,500 for each person murdered. Detectives earned that Michael Alan Burris approached this source numerous times and said he was frustrated and that his ex-wife and her new boyfriend were “messing” with his money and “back dooring” him, the report says.

Michael Alan Burris allegedly made three calls from jail to an undercover detective (Oct. 31, Nov. 3 and Nov. 5) in which he solicited the detective to kill one of the intended targets.

During a search warrant of Michael Alan Burris’ jail cell Nov. 6, detectives reportedly found a hand-drawn map that is believed to be directions to a residence of one of the intended murder victims.

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