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Forum News Service, Published February 18 2014

Murder suspect's attorney allowed more time to prepare

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – The attorney for a man accused of murdering his nephew over a $20,000 drug debt will get more time to prepare for the case.

Michael Alan Burris, 65, appeared Tuesday in Otter Tail District Court on charges of killing Scott Burris in May 2012 before dumping his body in the Otter Tail River near Fergus Falls.

The judge granted a request from Tracy Mitchell, the court-appointed attorney for Burris, for more time before offering any plea.

The judge asked Burris whether he understood that by postponing his plea, he is waiving his right to a speedy trial.

Burris spoke softly with a simple “yes, sir.”

Burris and his son, Michael Kyle Burris, were arrested in Arizona in August before being extradited back to Minnesota.

The elder Burris is charged with felony second-degree murder. His son faces charges of second-degree murder and aiding an offender.

They are being held in separate jails, and the younger Burris appears on the witness list against his father.

Michelle Eldien, assistant Otter Tail County attorney, said: “It’s kind of clear that he provided statements and information relevant to the case against his father, Michael senior.”

Michael Alan Burris’ next court appearance is set for May 27.