John Steven "Sinjin" Burgess Gets Out of Jail Early for Dumping Donna Jou's Body in Pacific
Burgess was sentenced to five years behind bars after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and concealment of an accidental death in 2009. He is to be cut loose today from the Men's Central Jail due to overcrowding.
|A deputy leads "Sinjin" (right) . . . to freedom?|
Previously convicted of a sex offense, Burgess met Jou through a craigslist.com advertisement she placed for a math tutor. The last time the Jous saw their daughter was on June 23, 2007, when she climbed onto the back of Burgess' motorcycle bound for a party he was hosting in LA. When Jou failed to return, the cops were called.
By then, Burgess had fled the state, having painted his pickup and stole money from roommates for a trip to Florida. He was arrested a couple times there, for cocaine possession and trying to steal DVDs from a Blockbuster. It was then discovered LA had a warrant out for Burgess failing to register as a sex offender. He was extradited back to California in 2007.
The grand jury in LA County indicted Burgess for Jou's disappearance in May 2009. This produced his first explanation of what happened to her, saying he found her lifeless body in a chair in his apartment the morning after partying and drugging with her. Investigators have told the Jou family that emails between Jou and Burgess show she willingly left for a party with him and a witness claimed she willingly consumed drugs at Burgess' place.
The defendant claimed he panicked and "made a really bad decision" to dump the teen's body, which was never found despite an extensive search. Before Burgess was sentenced, he sat down with Jou's family and recounted his version of what he says happened to her. The family does not believe him--or, at least, thinks he's withholding key details--which is fueling the demonstration in LA today.