Burks pleads guilty to stabbing death

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

A West Virginia man who was to stand trial next month in connection with the stabbing death of a Chesapeake man last year waived his right to a trial Wednesday and pleaded guilty.

Jason Heath Burks, 30,

of Huntington, W.Va.,

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was charged with murder in connection with the October 2004 death of Jon Wilson, of Plumbley Trailer Park, County Road 1.

Wilson was found dead at his residence, the victim of multiple stab wounds.

It was one of several violent deaths that occurred in Lawrence County in a two-month period last year.

Burks pleaded guilty to an amended indictment that charged him with involuntary manslaughter and new charge of aggravated burglary.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Frank McCown sentenced Burks to 13 years of incarceration - nine years for the involuntary manslaughter charge and four years for the charge of burglary.

McCown ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.

Burks was scheduled to stand trial July 14 on the murder charge. He was ruled mentally competent to stand trial last month following an evaluation by Shawnee Forensics Center.

In a separate case, James McComas, 24, of 3748 State Route 217, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.

McComas was sentenced to four years in prison, but McCown will allow a judicial release to be filed after McComas has served a year and a half of his sentence.

If filed, McComas would have to live in a community-based correctional facility for at least six months.

On March 13, the car McComas was driving was involved in a single-vehicle crash in the 1500 block of South Third Street. A passenger in that car, Richard Aaron Kelley, 27, of Walnut Street, Ironton, was killed.

Also on Wednesday, Wilbur L. Mills, a 54-year-old resident of Lavalette, W.Va., pleaded guilty to raping a Proctorville girl who was 9 years old at the time.

Mills received a sentence of 10 years in prison. Because the victim is under 10, he could have received a life sentence but a plea was negotiated upon to keep the victim from testifying.