Trial begins May 14 for accused murderer |

Trial begins May 14 for accused murderer

The trial for the man accused of murdering a Nevada County woman and their unborn child is set to begin May 14 in Auburn.

Lee Konnerth has pleaded not guilty in the May 15, 2011, shooting death of his fiancee, Sarah Ann Burr, who was pregnant. Burr graduated from Nevada Union High School in 1999 and had been employed at Golden Empire Convalescent Hospital in Grass Valley since 2000.

Placer County Sheriff’s deputies had responded to Konnerth’s house in Weimar after an off-duty police officer in the area heard a gunshot. The officer discovered Burr, 29, lying on the porch; she later was pronounced dead at the scene. Burr’s two young daughters and Konnerth’s father were in the residence at the time but did not witness the shooting.

Burr had been staying off and on at the Konnerth home near Weimar; on the night of May 15, 2011, she was there with her two daughters, ages 6 and 11.

Burr and Konnerth began dating in July 2010; the couple had gotten engaged and were talking about getting married in Hawaii. But the couple argued a lot, according to testimony during a preliminary hearing. Konnerth’s father testified during that hearing that all three adults had been drinking the night of the shooting.

Konnerth also faces special allegations of multiple murder and use of a firearm during a murder, as well as a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remains in jail on a no-bail warrant.

Alleged pot grower held to answer

A man arrested in October after authorities allegedly uncovered a commercial pot-growing operation has been held to answer on counts of possessing marijuana for sale and cultivating marijuana. Mateo Meadowcroft, 24, is set for formal arraignment on those charges May 13.

Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies conducting a compliance check for the county’s medical marijuana cultivation ordinance allegedly uncovered the “substantial” commercial operation on Dog Bar Road.

The deputies allegedly were following up on a complaint that there was a large grow near a school bus stop. When they arrived at the residence in the 18000 block, approximately a dozen subjects fled into the house, out the back door, around the house and then back inside before being corralled in the back.

A large trimming operation was clearly visible inside a garage with its doors standing open. After obtaining a search warrant, deputies allegedly found 37 marijuana plants in the ground. Inside the garage were a number of cut marijuana stems hanging from coat hangers. Deputies recovered six large totes worth of unprocessed cola on the stem with an estimated weight of 20 pounds per tote, 8 pounds of processed cola in the house, and more cola recovered from the garage that had been placed in six large paper bags.

As deputies continued to search, they allegedly also discovered approximately $25,000 in cash, five pounds of hash, a shotgun and ammunition at the residence. There allegedly was only one recommendation for medical marijuana at the residence.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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