Illinois physician charged with first-degree murder, denied bail reduction

Brian Burns, MD, who was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in March in connection with the slaying of his estranged wife, has been denied a bail reduction.

Dr. Burns, 57, of Harrisburg, Ill., was a family practice physician at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro, Ill. Saline County Sherriff's deputies arrested Dr. Burns March 16 on a charge of first-degree murder. Prosecutors accuse Dr. Burns of shooting his estranged wife Carla Burns and concealing her death by burning her body and spreading her ashes, according to The Southern Illinoisan.

The estranged couple began divorce proceedings in December 2014. According to court documents in the divorce case, Ms. Burns accused Dr. Burns of verbal abuse, which she feared would escalate into physical harm.

Ms. Burns, 49, was a registered nurse. According to police information, she was last seen March 8 and was reported missing March 10.

Dr. Burns is being held in the Saline County Jail on $1 million bond. On Thursday, a judge denied a request to reduce Dr. Burns' bail to $100,000 after

hearing testimony from Illinois State Police Investigator Stacy Kinter, showing Dr. Burns could be a flight risk, according to according to a WSIL news report. During a post-arrest interview, Dr. Burns told Ms. Kinter that if he "killed his wife he had enough money to live in the Cayman Islands…and nobody would every find him," according to the report.

The murder trial is slated to get underway July 6.

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