Murder trial of Daniel Burda delayed again, family of Dennis Day frustrated

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.– The family of original Mouseketeer Dennis Day is voicing their frustration, after murder suspect Daniel Burda’s trial was delayed once again.

Dennis Day went missing back in 2018.

Day’s family also still has a pending civil case against Phoenix Police that is scheduled to go to trial in the spring.

Daniel Burda was scheduled to go to trial next month, but that is now delayed because one of Burda’s attorneys is withdrawing from the case.

For the family, the wait for justice will have to continue.

Day’s niece Denise Norris said, “it just doesn’t seem like anyone is interested in seeing the justice through in this crime.”

Day’s family said they have been waiting for Daniel Burda’s murder trial for the last five years and they’re being forced to wait longer after another delay in the legal process.

Prosecutors said handyman Daniel Burda, who was living with Phoenix man Dennis Day at the time he went missing in 2018, shoved the elderly man to the ground and let Day die by not taking other actions to prevent it.

The trial was supposed to start in January, but Day’s niece said they will have to wait until next year to schedule it.

Norris said, “right in the fourth quarter, they pull out of co-council. We’re starting to lose faith in the justice system, it’s really aggravating.”

The confrontation between Day and Burda started when day allegedly kicked Burda out of his home.

Day’s badly decomposed body was found by police in his own home, months after he was reported missing.

Day’s family’s attorney Erin Gould said, “neighbors were calling the police station complaining about smells that were clearly smells of death, of a rotting corpse.”

When OSP finally took over the case, a dog quickly found what was left of day’s body, under a large mound of clothes.

As they await the result of the criminal case, Day’s family filed a $2.2 million civil suit against Phoenix Police and Lieutenant Jeffrey Price for allegedly leading a careless investigation, ruining evidence and causing the family emotional distress, both intentionally and through their own negligence.

The suit said Lieutenant Price told the family day’s home had been searched by a cadaver dog, when it hadn’t.

Norris said, “we haven’t really discussed it with our attorney yet, anything about that. This trial is what’s most important to us.”

Norris said the civil suit is scheduled to go to trial in May, but the results of that case depend on the outcome of Burda’s criminal trial.

Burda is charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, abuse of a corpse and identity theft.

Norris said, “my uncle deserves justice. Five years is a long time. It just breaks our hearts and we just want it to be done.”

Norris said Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Michael Cohen took over the case in 2022.

She said the family has had little communication with him or the DA’s office about the case.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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