JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A man has turned himself in after warrants were issued in the hunting incident that killed 11-year-old Troy Ellis of Trussville.
Ellis and his father were members of a small hunting party that went into the woods to hunt turkey on Friday, May 1, 2020.
Deputies said during the hunt, 35-year-old Joshua Stewart Burks of Mobile shot and killed Ellis.
The shot also caused a minor injury to Ellis’ father, who was treated at the scene.
After Jefferson County Detectives reviewed the evidence in the case with the District Attorney’s Office, it was determined that an arrest warrant was justified against Burks for Reckless Manslaughter.
Burks was booked into the Jefferson County Jail on Wednesday just before 9 a.m. and released on bond less than an hour later.
Troy Ellis and his father were turkey hunting with two others on Cedar Mountain Road in the Pinson area May 1.
A candlelight vigil in honor of Troy was held Sunday night in Trussville.
We spoke with Burks’ attorney, Jonathan McCardle, on Wednesday after Burks was released. McCardle confirms Burks is a veteran but said the shooting was not triggered by PTSD. He says Burks heard something in the bushes, saw signs that it was a turkey and “unfortunately an accident occurred.”
“This is a tragic accident and there was no criminal act involved,” the Mobile-based attorney said. “We feel extreme sorrow and sadness for the Ellis family.”
McCardle confirms Burks is a teacher in Mobile County but says he does not know if this will impact Burks’ job.