Helena shooting suspect pleads not guilty, warrant recalled

Published 2:16 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2015

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – An arrest warrant has been recalled against a Helena man who is facing charges in connection with a 2014 Helena police-involved shooting, and the suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to Shelby County Circuit Court documents.



Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves had issued an arrest warrant Evan Taylor Burt after the suspect allegedly failed to appear at his March 23 court date.

Reeves recalled the arrest warrant after Burt and his attorney, John Medaris, filed a waiver of arraignment and not-guilty pleas to Burt’s two charges.

A Shelby County grand jury during its January session returned the indictment against Evan Taylor Burt, who lists an address on Laurel Woods Trace in Helena, charging him with 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 is now scheduled to appear in the Shelby County Courthouse on June 15 for a status hearing on his case.

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.