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John Burgess appears in court, charged with felony count

July 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sex offender and parolee John Burgess appeared in court Wednesday. He served time for the death of an Orange County college student five years ago. Now he is facing new charges and suspicions.

He was in court for only a few minutes Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of possession of ammunition. The 40-year-old Burgess was wearing a T-shirt and appeared unfazed by the process.

The judge set his next court appearance for August 8, when a hearing will be held to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

Burgess was arrested by police Monday night at his Hollywood apartment on suspicion of possessing ammunition after two women reported him. The women had recently responded to a Craigslist ad offering free rent in exchange for cooking and cleaning. They figured out who he was after talking to him and doing an Internet search.

Burgess, a convicted sex offender, is on parole and was released from jail in December after serving roughly half of his five-year term for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Orange County college student Donna Jou.

Burgess admitted to giving the 19-year-old Jou alcohol and drugs and said her death was accidental. Burgess also met Jou through Craigslist.

Wednesday Jou's mother was in the courtroom.

"Until I find my daughter, I will meet him anywhere. I will go wherever he is, in front of the court, in front of the judge, in front of the law, I'll there to show him that we are not going to give up," said Nili Jou, Donna's mother. "We are not going to give up on Donna."

Asked if Burgess looked at her in the courtroom, Nili Jou said, "He did, and he laughed."

If Burgess is convicted of the parole violation, he faces up to three years in jail. He is due back in court August 8.

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