PINSON — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced charges in connection to the death of an 11-year-old boy from Trussville.
Joshua Stewart Burks, 35, of Mobile, is charged with reckless manslaughter, in the shooting death of Troy Ellis, 11. The sheriff’s office initially said the shooting was accidental but after an investigation, detectives presented evidence to the District Attorney’s Office and the DA determined an arrest warrant was justified.
The boy and his father were on a turkey hunt with a group when the boy was killed on Friday, May 1, 2020. The father was also shot and injured. The father is Obed Ellis, a football coach at Mortimer Jordan. A GoFundMe account has been set up to support the family.
Burks’ attorney, Jonathan McCardle, said the shooting was an accident and he does not believe criminal charges should have been brought against his client.
“This was an absolute accident,” McCardle said.
McCardle said Burks is a Marine veteran and a school teacher.
“I’ve represented a lot of people,” said McCardle. “But this guy is a good person. He’s not a criminal, at all.”
McCardle said he can’t imagine what the Ellis family is going through and he said his client feels horrible about the accidental shooting.
“This was an absolute accident which in my perception, does not amount to criminal conduct,” McCardle said in a written statement. “We all feel extreme sorrow for the Ellis family. Our next steps are arraignment and then a Preliminary Hearing where we are able to learn more from the Government as to why it believe criminal conduct occurred. The simple story is Josh did not act criminally, but sadly a tragic accident did occur.”
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The sheriff’s office said Burks is expected to turn himself into the Jefferson County Jail and has been given a bond of $15,000.