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Man convicted in Donna Jou death arrested on parole violation

A sex offender who served state prison time in the death of 19-year-old coed Donna Jou was arrested at his Hollywood residence on suspicion of violating parole for allegedly possessing ammunition, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.

John Steven "Sinjin" Burgess, 42, was taken into custody Monday after two women who were offered a rent-free living arrangement at his Hollywood apartment contacted KTLA-TV, claiming they saw drugs at the residence, LAPD officials said. The reporter then called police.

In a cursory search of the residence, police found ammunition, said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith. Police will make a more extensive search of the home Tuesday.

Burgess pleaded guilty in 2009 to involuntary manslaughter in the disappearance and death of Jou, a San Diego State nursing student. Under a plea deal, Burgess was sentenced to five years. In April 2011, Burgess was released from state custody in Chico after serving two years.

He was then taken into custody in Los Angeles County. He was released from jail in December after serving half his sentence.

Burgess told authorities that Jou,  from Rancho Santa Margarita, died of a drug overdose in June 2007. He said he panicked and dumped her body in the ocean; her body has never been recovered. 

Jou's family has continued to press prosecutors to reopen the investigation.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Follow Andrew Blankstein on Twitter and Google+.

 
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