Weather Forecast


Ross murder defendant loses appeal

A Wisconsin court of appeals has denied a Welch man who was convicted of first-degree premeditated homicide the right to a new trial based on new evidence.

A District III court of appeals handed down the decision to Jeffrey Daniel Burr, 27, Tuesday.

Burr was convicted Feb. 20, 2002, for the murder of Ronald Ross, 51. On March 9, 2001, Burr beat and kicked Ross while at a party at a Red Wing residence, Wisconsin court documents say. He and others then drove Ross into Wisconsin and dumped him in a wooded area.

Ross' body was discovered by loggers later that day. An autopsy showed that Ross died of "multiple traumatic injuries associated with assault," court documents say. Burr was 15 years old at the time of the murder, but was charged as an adult.

In January 2002, a jury in Pepin County Court found Burr guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and false imprisonment. He was given a mandatory life sentence with the eligibility for extended supervision in 60 years.

Burr then moved for a new trial arguing prosecutorial misconduct, judicial bias, evidentiary errors and newly discovered evidence. The court denied Burr's motions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the court's decision to deny Burr's motions.

On March 9, 2012, Burr again sought a new trial based on new evidence. He also argued that the Wisconsin statute allowing him to be tried as an adult was unconstitutional.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected Burr's appeal Tuesday, stating that "it is not reasonably probable a new trial would produce a different result."

Burr's new evidence relied heavily on statements that Jackson's girlfriend told a private investigator in 2010. Her statements recapped the murder based on what Paul Jackson, who was at the party and testified after being granted immunity, told her the day after the murder. The court determined that this was double hearsay and would not be admissible at a new trial.

Burr will be able to apply for extended supervision in 2062. The Wisconsin Circuit Court website shows Burr began serving his life sentence at the Dodge Correctional Facility in Waupun, Wis.

Noah White III and Arlo White were found guilty of first-degree reckless homicide and sentenced to 20 years. They could be released in 2017, according to court documents.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.