Fitbit evidence allowed into Wisconsin murder trial

Step data included, sleep data barred

BROWN COUNTY, Wisc. - A judge has decided to allow some evidence from a Fitbit to be included in a Wisconsin murder trial. 

George Burch is accused of killing Nicole Vander Heyden, 31, in 2016 and dumping her body in a Bellevue field.

A Brown County Circuit Court judge Wednesday ruled that data from the device related to step-counting will be allowed in the trial, but decided to exclude any data related to sleep-monitoring.

Burch's attorney had filed a motion to have both excluded from the record.

The state wants to use the data from the Fitbit, allegedly worn by Vander Heyden's boyfriend, Doug Detrie. They argue the data can prove Detrie was not involved in the murder.

Detrie was originally arrested for the murder but was released from jail due to a lack of evidence. 

The defense argues the technology has not proven to be reliable in court, and should not be admissible.

VanderHeyden's body was found about three miles from the home she shared with Detrie on May 21, 2016. The cause of death was determined to be severe blunt force trauma to her head and strangulation.

The prosecution says Detrie's Fitbit data shows he was sleeping at the time of the murder.

Burch will be back in court Thursday for a motion hearing.

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