Man Sentenced in Death of Former “Mickey Mouse Club” Star Dennis Day

Daniel Burda, 41, has been sentenced to just over four years in prison after pleading no contest to charges of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of Dennis Day, a 1950s cast member of Walt Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club.” Burda, a live-in handyman at Day’s home in Phoenix, Oregon, was reportedly being evicted by Day, 76, around the time of his disappearance in mid-2018. Prosecutors stated that Burda caused Day’s death and subsequently used his identity to spend money.

Day’s decomposed body was discovered nine months later beneath a pile of clothes in his home, leading to a lawsuit against the Phoenix Police Department by Day’s family. The family claims the police’s failure to find his remains despite multiple visits to the home caused emotional distress. The lawsuit alleges that police even stepped on Day’s body during a search, causing fractures, but did not discover it until the Oregon State Police brought a cadaver-sniffing dog in April 2019. This delay hindered the medical examiner’s ability to determine the cause of death.

Burda’s criminal proceedings were delayed due to assessments of his mental fitness and other legal challenges. In addition to the charges related to Day’s death, Burda faced other charges while out of custody and has recently been sentenced to an additional two years in a burglary case, bringing his total prison time to just over six years. The trial for the family’s lawsuit against the police department is set for October in Jackson County Circuit Court.

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