An Alabama middle school teacher and U.S. Marine Corps veteran is facing a capital murder charge after the death of a fifth grader during a spring turkey hunt.
Joshua Stewart Burks, 36, was initially charged with reckless manslaughter, but after a grand jury heard testimony, Burks’ charges were escalated to capital murder. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
Alabama Teacher is Facing Capital Murder Charge In Tragic Hunting Death of 11-Year-Old Boy
The turkey hunt was organized for wounded veterans, including Burks, an amputee. The suit alleges that Burks had taken pain medication the morning of the tragic event.
The victim, Troy Ellis, was a student at Cahaba Elementary School in Trussville, Alabama. His father was also injured in the shooting.
“The events that occurred that day were devastating on many levels and our sympathies are with the family of the young man that lost his life in what we believe was a tragic hunting accident,” said Burks’ attorney, Tommy Spina.
“I am hopeful that the evidence will ultimately establish that what occurred that day was not an intentional act,” added Spina.
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