Woman accused of murdering lesbian love interest appears in court

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. -- The woman accused of killing another woman during an apparent lesbian tryst appeared in court on Friday.

Amber J. Debord, 33, of Colchester is a suspect in the murder of Michele L. Burton, 36, whom she met at a tavern on Wednesday night.

In court on Friday, Debord cried as she answered the judge's questions briefly and quietly.

Debord refused to talk to deputies but told a corrections sargent that she met Burton at the Bethel Saloon on Wednesday night. Burton was on a date with a man at the time.

Debord, who stated that she is a bisexual, said she hoped to have a lesbian relationship with Burton. She also said she had too much to drink that night.

Burton's date told detectives that Debord approached the couple and engaged them in small talk at the bar. Debord and Burton eventually went outside together for a smoke, then to the bathroom.

A bartender later told detectives that the women locked the door of the bathroom and stayed inside for 30 some minutes.

Burton's date said he and the two women decided to head back to Burton's home in the 4400 block of Panther Lake Road West, where they continued to drink.

At one point, the man went into the bedroom and found the two women naked in bed and kissing, he said. The man said Debord turned violent and began pushing both himself and Burton, prompting him to leave the home.

Deputies said Burton's date is not a suspect in the case.

"He's been ruled out as having anything to do with this," sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilson told the Kitsap Sun newspaper.

Several hours after the man left, a 911 call made by a "hysterical female" led detectives to the home. Detectives said Debord made the call just after 2 a.m. Thursday and said "I think someone is dead."

Upon arriving, deputies found Burton's partially-clothed body outside the home. Burton was covered in blood, and clumps of bloody hair were scattered around the front yard, according to the statement of probable cause.

The victim was not wearing any shoes and her feet were covered in dirt, the document said. Detectives spotted numerous stab wounds on her neck and hands, as well as clumps of hair in her hands which indicate she had tried to fight off her attacker.

Debord was inside the house, her clothes covered in blood, detectives said. when asked whether she was hurt anywhere, she told detectives "her heart hurt," the statement said.

Detectives noted seeing cuts and bruises on her arm that are "consistent with a stabbing."

She was booked into the Kitsap County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and is being held on $500,000 bail.

Detectives contacted Debord's boyfriend, who said the woman had a history of becoming violent when intoxicated. He said Debord once held a knife to his throat and in another incident, picked him up and threw him across the room.

Debord is due back in court for charging Monday afternoon.

Detectives have not established the motive or the murder weapon, but said the investigation is ongoing.