San Diego State University

Donna Jou Killing: John Burgess Released From Prison

John Steven Burgess pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2007 death of 19-year-old Donna Jou, whose body was never found.

The convicted sex offender imprisoned in the death of a San Diego State University student has been released, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Donna Jou, 19, was last seen in June 2007 leaving a house party on the back of a motorcycle driven by John Burgess.

The SDSU honors student met Burgess through Craigslist in late May or early June of 2007 and began exchanging e-mails.

On June 23, Burgess picked up Jou at an Orange County apartment and took her to a party in West Los Angeles.

A criminal complaint suggested Burgess injected Jou with a mixture of heroin and cocaine known as a speedball, and she died of an accidental overdose.

In 2009, Burgess pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and concealment of an accidental death.

In court, he said he awoke and found Jou dead. He panicked and dumped Jou's body into the ocean from his sailboat.

"I gave her to the sea," Burgess said in court.

Now 43, Burgess has been released in Florida and will have to register as a sex offender due to a previous conviction in Los Angeles.

Schoolmates back in the day, Timothy Joseph and Daye Salani take a look back at how they both ended up as hosts of their own respective local music programs 20 years later.
Contact Us