A Jury in Bozeman, Montana has found Duane Burchill guilty of robbing a local casino on two different occasions.
He was sentenced for two counts of robbery and single counts of conspiracy to commit deceptive practices and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, all felonies. The trial lasted three days.
Burchill claims he was framed by an informant.
The casinos were robbed by a suspect who wore a mask that resembled Jack Skellington, a character in the animated movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and brandished a handgun. A total of $1500 was stolen during the two robberies.
From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
During closing arguments of Burchill’s trial on Wednesday, Gallatin County Deputy Attorney Bjorn Boyer said “overwhelming” evidence showed that Burchill was the perpetrator.
Numerous witnesses testified during the trial that they recognized Burchill as the robber from the mannerisms of the suspect seen in surveillance video from the casino, Boyer said.
Burchill’s own mother even said in a recorded phone call with her son, “I don’t know how you’re going to prove you’re not there. The pictures look like you.”
“That is a mother who recognizes her son, recognizes her son as only a mother could,” Boyer said to jurors.
Witnesses from the robbery also noted that the suspect intentionally faked an almost indecipherable accent while robbing the casino. One witness said Burchill said he had heard Burchill use a fake accent multiple times while high on meth and a casino employee knew Burchill.
“It makes perfect sense that he believed his voice might be recognized,” Boyer said.
“The jail simply doesn’t give furloughs for people to get out and plant evidence,” Boyer said.
Defense attorney Jack Sands, however, argued that Martz was not a credible witness.
“How could he possibly be credible?” Sands asked jurors. “We know that Joshua Martz tried to frame Duane Burchill.”
- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com