JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — In a powerful moment of forgiveness in court Friday, a former Mobile County teacher pleads guilty to reckless manslaughter in the death of a child during a hunting trip two years ago. Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr tells our sister station WIAT that Joshua Burks plead guilty to a lesser charge saying “the victim’s family and the defendant both expressed forgiveness in a moment that… was very powerful.”

In May 2020, Burks, the victim Troy Ellis, the boy’s father Obed Ellis, and another man went hunting together as part of a wounded veteran’s event. Burks thought he saw a turkey in some brush and fired … killing Troy and wounding his father.

Burks was charged with capital murder following a grand jury indictment. According to, in exchange for the plea, he received a 15-year sentence with six months to serve in the Jefferson County Jail, followed by three years of probation.