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Venue change?


Alleged Capac shooter asks court to move trial, suppress statements



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Donald Burkeís court-appointed attorney has requested that the Capac manís trial be moved to another county. Burke, seen here in a May pre-trial hearing, faces three counts of attempted murder in the April 16 shooting that injured two police officers. photo by Maria Brown.
August 20, 2008
PORT HURON — With only two weeks before alleged shooter Donald Burke is to go on trial, the 51 year-old Capac man's attorney is arguing to move the trial to another county, suppress statements Burke made to police and adjourn a plea hearing and the Sept. 3 trial.

Judge Daniel Kelly will hear the arguments on Monday, August 25.

Burke's attorney, Frederick Lepley, could not be reached by press time for comments, but St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling confirmed his office was preparing statements in reply.

Burke faces trial on three counts of attempted murder for the April 16 shooting incident at his William G. Drive home. According to police, Burke fired shots from a .22 caliber rifle from his front porch, striking Capac Police Chief Raymond Hawks and St. Clair County Sheriff Deputy Tim O'Boyle. Burke allegedly took aim at tow truck driver Mike Thorpe, precipitating the third attempted murder charge. Hawks and Thorpe were on scene to tow Burke's vehicle following a report of Burke's reckless driving.

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Hawks was seriously injured and hospitalized for several weeks. O'Boyle was grazed in the head by a bullet.

Burke fled from the scene and was captured several hours later where he'd been hiding at Mike Pirrone Produce. Upon his arrest, Burke was also hospitalized and eventually underwent heart surgery before being arraigned on a $3 million bond.

Wendling said the filing of Lepley's motions was "not a big surprise."

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