Donna Jou's Killer Back in Jail

The registered sex offender, who served time for involuntary manslaughter in Jou's death, is sentenced to four years for ammunition possession.

A registered sex offender who spent time behind bars for the 2007 death of a college coed from Rancho Santa Margarita was sentenced Wednesday to four more years in state prison after pleading no contest to possession of ammunition.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Richman imposed the maximum sentence on John Steven Burgess, 40, who was released from prison just under a year ago. He served roughly half of a five-year term stemming from his guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor count of concealment of an accidental death in connection with the June 2007 disappearance of Donna Jou.

Jou's mother, Nili, told the judge that Burgess "needs to be in prison"' and said she thinks her daughter -- who was a San Diego State University student -- may still be alive somewhere.

At a May 2009 hearing in which he pleaded no contest in connection with Jou's death, Burgess said he had given the young woman drugs after meeting her through an advertisement on craigslist.com and that he panicked after she overdosed.

He said he went to his sailboat and "gave her to the sea." Despite an extensive search, her body has never been found.

In urging the judge to impose the maximum four-year term, Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace noted that Burgess placed an ad on craigslist.com after he was paroled to the Hollywood area that advertised for free rent in exchange for cleaning and other errands. One of the conditions of Burgess' parole had been not to place any classified ads or to use a computer to start a relationship with anyone, the prosecutor said.

Two women Burgess eventually met later learned his true identity and contacted authorities, who found the ammunition during a parole search, Grace said.

"He still hasn't learned his lesson," the prosecutor said of Burgess, who was arrested July 23 by the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood Division and has remained jailed since then.

--City News Service

deena November 29, 2012 at 06:29 AM
It is news reports like this that make me feel that our court system fails to protect us from predators. I just cannot understand why his sentance was originally so light,then he was allowed to serve only 1/2 time. Thank God he has been put away~at least~for a few more years. D
Reza Jou November 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Burgess is involved in BESTIALITY porn and dealing drugs. Is he also involved with Harvesting Human Organs & Human Trafficking or both? We need to find out! Could that be what happened to my dear daughter? We have a reason to believe his involvement with harvesting human organs. How our criminal justice system allow a liar of historical proportions to lead them to such a path, unverifiable at best but, more likely, nothing more than a self-serving lie to save his own skin from a long jail sentence or even a death sentence. Truly, the justice system in the case of the disappearance of Donna has done little more than to denigrate and insult the victims of crime and their families. As decent human beings who respect humanity and cause no harm to others, we have the right to expect no harm to come to us from such a man as Burgess, Why should it take us, a family who has suffered the fate of Burgess’ sadistic acts, to bring this before the public and the media? Why aren’t those representatives of our system of justice speaking up for us and demanding to be heard instead? We count on them to protect us so why must we scream at them for justice and why do our screams fall only on deaf ears? It is not right, it’s inhumane, and it threatens all innocent victims like my daughter. Other than for the word of a convicted felon which got him a short sentence in prison, no other evidence has surfaced that indicates whether or not my daughter is dead or alive. Reza (Donna's dad)
deena December 01, 2012 at 09:11 AM
I am truly so sorry for the loss of your daughter from your life~and the pain that you family will continue to suffer as a direct result from the failure of our judical system because their rights as a defendants are given a higher presedence then their future victims. Where does this end for us as parents,as brothers,sisters or as children? And why must it always take more loss and pain to end what never should have been allowed to happen again?


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