Alabama veteran charged in boy’s shooting death during wounded vet turkey hunt

Published 6:53 am Thursday, May 7, 2020

An Alabama man charged in the shooting death of an 11-year-old boy during a turkey hunt is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and a middle school teacher.

Joshua Stewart Burks, 35, turned himself Wednesday after being charged with reckless manslaughter in the Friday death of Troy Ellis, news outlets reported.

Troy’s father, Obed Ellis is a football coach at Mortimer Jordan High School and was also wounded in the shooting.

Authorities said Troy Ellis was shot while the group was hunting turkeys in Jefferson County. The hunt was organized by a group that sponsors hunts for wounded veterans and Obed Ellis was acting as a guide.

Troy Ellis was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the shooting led to charges being brought Burks. Details surrounding the investigation weren’t immediately released.

Burks is an amputee and veteran of the Marine Corps. He’s also a middle school teacher in Mobile County.

Burks’ attorney, Jonathan C. McCardle said the shooting was an accident and wasn’t triggered by any past traumas or PTSD.

“While I feel criminal charges should not have been brought forth here, we look forward to working with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office in bringing a resolution for all involved in this horrible accident,” McCardle said.