Daniel James Burda calls charges 'messed up' | News Coverage from USA

Daniel James Burda calls charges ‘messed up’

The man accused of causing the death of original Mouseketeer Dennis Day appeared in a Medford, Oregon courtroom Monday, calling the charges against him “messed up,” according to KDRV, the local ABC affiliate.

Daniel James Burda, 36, was arraigned Monday on 12 charges following his Friday arrest — second degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, criminal mistreatment, abuse of a corpse, six counts of aggravated identity theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and theft.

Burda attended the court hearing remotely via video from the nearby Jackson County Jail, according to KDRV. Burda maintained that the litany of charges against him were “messed up,” saying that the prosecution didn’t have the evidence to prove them.

Day, 76, who earned fame with Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club for two years in the mid-1950s, vanished in rural Oregon in July 2018. His decomposed remains were found in April at his own home, 11 months after his disappearance.

Original Mouseketeer Dennis Day’s death: Former handyman arrested in Oregon

Oregon State Police Captain Timothy R. Fox told The Associated Press after the July 5 arrest that Burda did work around the house for Day and his partner of more than 45 years, Ernest Caswell, who suffers from dementia-related memory problems and lives in assisted care.

Neighbors said Burda had lived with the elderly couple at their home in Phoenix, Oregon.

The presiding judge Monday had to remind Burda that an arraignment hearing is only for setting bail conditions and appointing an attorney – not for arguing the merits of the case. At times Burda seemed confused, according to KDRV.

While pertinent court documents remain sealed, the news station did see paperwork that alleges that “on or about July 15” of last year, Burda caused Day’s death through “neglect or maltreatment,” then attempted to dispose of the body in some way.

A few days later, between July 20 and 22, the prosecution alleges Burda used Day’s credit or debit cards and cash for a number of purchases.

Burda’s bail has been set at $150,000, according to KDRV. The next court hearing is July 15.

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