GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Wisconsin Supreme Court to hear appeal of George Burch case

Local News

(WFRV) The Wisconsin Supreme Court has voted to accept seven new cases, one of those being the State of Wisconsin vs. George Burch.

In 2018, Burch was convicted of First Degree Intentional Homicide in connection with the death of Nicole Vanderheyden from Ledgeview.

She was killed on May 21, 2016 after leaving a bar in downtown Green Bay.

In March of 2018 Burch was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

According to Wisconsin Supreme Court documents, six issues were presented to the court:

1. Would a reasonable person consider the scope of consent to search a cell phone to be limited by the person’s discussion with law enforcement, or would a reasonable person properly consider a subsequent discussion about police extracting “the information” from the cell phone as showing the person had consented to police searching the phone in its entirety?

2. May a reasonable person consider the broad scope of the consent form signed by Burch despite the officer’s initial request to review only the text messages on the phone?

3. After police downloaded information from the cell phone, what portion of Burch’s data could it lawfully retain?

4. If the police department was permitted to retain some or all of the downloaded material, how long could it do so?

5. Did the status of the original investigation that produced the download affect the ability of police to lawfully retain the downloaded material?

6. Did the police have any obligation to return the downloaded material to Burch, and if so, when?

There is no word on when the Court will take up the appeal.

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