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Michael Kyle Burris pleads guilty to helping father dispose of cousin's body in 2012

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Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - One of the men charged in a Fergus Falls murder case has pleaded guilty in Otter Tail County Court.

24-year-old Michael Kyle Burris admitted to helping his father, Michael Allen Burris, dispose of his cousin's dead body, back in May of 2012.

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It's been more than two years since Scott Burris's body was found in the Otter Tail River. Now in court his cousin, Michael Kyle Burris, says he's the one who put him there.

Michael Kyle Burris pleaded guilty to aiding an offender-accomplice after the fact of murder- a felony that usually carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, both sides agreed to a maximum recommendation of just over 6 years.

In court Michael Kyle Burris testified, saying his father, 65-year-old Michael Allen Burris, made him help get rid of Scott Burris's body, after he killed him.

Michelle Eldien/Asst. Otter Tail Co. Attorney: "Especially with a deceased person, you don't get the story from them. So we have to rely on the facts and the corroborating evidence that what he suggests that what he is saying is truthful, which we do believe is."

But prosecutors say that wasn't always the case, he didn't admit to his involvement until well after his cousin's death.

Eldien: "Based on prior statements and covering up the situation for as long as it was, and the fact that it was a family member and there were other family members who were wanting to know what happened so in that regard, no. Things that were said here aren't necessarily all of the information."

Although it wasn't mentioned in court- prosecutors say the murder stemmed from a drug debt of $20,000.

Eldien: "Yeah, there was money related to some past history with that."

And they say Michael Kyle Burris's testimony will help when his father goes to trial this October.

Michael Kyle Burris's sentencing date is set for October 3rd.

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Kay Cooley
Kay Cooley came to WDAY 6 News in September of 2012. She was born in a suburb of Chicago then made her home in Hershey, PA. Kay graduated from Northwestern University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Northwestern, Kay was a member of the Division I Women’s Swim Team and a reporter for the Northwestern News Network on campus. Before coming to WDAY, Kay was working for KVRR in Fargo and interned at ABC27 in Harrisburg, PA. When she’s not out in the field reporting, Kay enjoys being active and spending time with friends and family. If you have story ideas, questions or just want to say hello, feel free to email Kay at kcooley@wday.com.
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