Murder charge upped to first degree

At her arraignment, the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office charged Manchester resident Amber J. Debord with first-degree murder in the death of Michele L. Burton on March 13.

“Based upon the investigation conducted by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, we felt pre-mediation was involved,” said Case Manager Cris Casad, who declined to elaborate on what pieces of evidence indicated pre-mediation.

The charge is more serious than what Debord was booked for, and Casad explained that while there are several ways to commit second-degree murder, first-degree murder requires pre-mediation, which he defined as “a thought beyond a moment in time.”

Debord, 33, was arrested March 13 at Burton’s home near Panther Lake in West Bremerton after calling 911 to report that “someone is dead.”

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies found Burton, 36, outside dead and only partially-clothed, covered in blood with clumps of hair in her fists. Debord was also reportedly covered in blood and initially found holding a knife.

Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Scott Wilson said detectives still had no evidence that the two women had met prior to March 12, when they were seen socializing at the Bethel Tavern before going to Burton’s house.

Debord is still in Kitsap County Jail awaiting a May trial on $500,000 bail. Her next court appearance is April 16.

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