Judge: Helena shooting suspect ducked court date

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves has issued an arrest warrant for a suspect charged in connection with a 2014 Helena police-involved shooting after the suspect allegedly failed to appear at his March 23 court date.

Burt

Burt

A Shelby County grand jury during its January session returned a two-count indictment against Evan Taylor Burt, who lists an address on Laurel Woods Trace in Helena, according to court documents filed in Shelby County Circuit Court on Feb. 18.

The grand jury indicted Burt on one felony count of making terrorist threats and one misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.

Burt was booked into the Shelby County Jail on Feb. 16, and was released on bonds totaling $12,000 the same day.

Burt originally was scheduled to appear at the Shelby County Courthouse on March 23 for a preliminary hearing, but he allegedly failed to appear for his court date, according to an order filed shortly after noon.

As a result of Burt’s alleged failure to appear, Reeves ordered the suspect re-arrested and held in the Shelby County Jail without bond.

Burt was transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries after he was involved in the shooting in the parking lot of Helena’s Papa Saia’s restaurant at about 8:30 p.m. on April 19, 2014.

The night of the incident, Helena Police Department Sgt. Chris Rollan said Helena and Pelham police officers responded to the scene after receiving reports of a man brandishing a handgun in the restaurant’s parking lot. Rollan said the man was involved in a possible domestic dispute leading to the incident at Papa Saia’s.

Rollan said officers on the scene ordered the suspect, who was within 100 feet of restaurant patrons, to drop the weapon. When the suspect refused to drop the weapon, Rollan said there was an “exchange of gunfire,” during which Burt suffered a single gunshot wound.

The shooting happened near the man’s black Honda CR-Z vehicle, which was still parked diagonally in one of the parking lot’s travel lanes a couple of hours after the incident.

Pelham officers responded to the scene to help Helena officers after hearing reports of the incident on their police radios.