Sex offender fugitive captured

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A fugitive sex offender wanted by the U.S. Marshals and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office was captured on Wednesday after running through the woods just inside Jefferson County.  

Joshua Wayne Burnett, 42, of Jasper, was arrested and charged with violation of the Sex Offender Notification and Registry Act, third-degree escape, fourth-degree theft and federal probation violation.   

The Sheriff’s Narcotics Division received a tip from the U.S. Marshals on the location of Burnett. Investigators coordinated with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to capture the suspect. Burnett fled from the area on foot, sparking a manhunt in the area by Walker County and Jefferson County deputies.     

Deputies found the suspect hiding under construction material behind the Green Top BBQ.  Jefferson County and Walker County Deputies removed Burnett from the hide location and took him into custody. 

Burnett is currently in the Walker County Jail, where he will remain until the U.S. Marshals take custody of him, if he makes bond.

Officer injured by drug K9

A female corrections officer was bitten by one of the Walker County Sheriff's Office's K9s on Tuesday night.

The officer, who was patrolling with the K-9 Unit, required stitches on her arm after being bitten by Maverick, a narcotics K9, when he was let out to use the restroom.

According to a WCSO press release, Maverick will be muzzled around citizens and officers while his behavior is assessed and will undergo remedial training or be removed from law enforcement duties if he shows unusual behavior.

"When the law enforcement K9s are only in the presence of officers, and no citizens, it is a more relaxed environment generally speaking, where you’re not worried about an inadvertent contact with a citizen. Police K9s are just as protective of their law enforcement handlers as your own dogs at home can be," the release stated.   

WCSO plans checkpoints in Empire

The Walker County Sheriff's Office will be conducting public safety checkpoints in the Empire community on Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. in response to citizen complaints.