First court appearance set for Weimar homicide suspect

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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While investigators continued Tuesday to piece together evidence in the slaying of a Grass Valley woman outside a Weimar home, the man alleged to have fired the fatal shot is slated to make his first court appearance Wednesday. Lee Konnerth, 35, was arrested late Sunday on a murder charge and booked into Placer County Jail, where he continues to be housed on a no-bail hold. The Weimar resident faces an arraignment hearing at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the North Auburn jail courtroom, according to jail records. The victim – 30-year-old Sarah Burr of Grass Valley – was described by a Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman as Konnerth’s girlfriend and her death appeared to be the result of a domestic violence incident. While Konnerth was booked into the jail on the open-ended murder charge, Lt. Mark Reed said Tuesday that Burr’s death is being investigated as a homicide. That leaves open the possibility of a manslaughter charge. The Sheriff’s Office was waiting for autopsy results to determine cause of death but preliminary indications are that Burr died of a gunshot wound, Reed said. Authorities are not identifying the type of gun discharged in the slaying. Another man was present at the scene of the shooting and was released after questioning. Reed said that man was Konnerth’s father. Both the slaying suspect and the father live at the same Catskill Drive address where Burr died, he said. Reed said that Burr’s 11- and 6-year-old daughters were also at the house at the time of the shooting. The home is located in the rural, unincorporated Weimar area of Placer County off Canyon Way, south of Colfax. The shooting was reported by an off-duty police officer who was in the area and heard a weapon firing, the Sheriff’s Office reported. Burr was found lying on the porch of the house, mortally wounded. The officer detained the two men at gunpoint until deputies and medical personnel arrived. Burr was pronounced dead at the scene.