Man charged in Thanksgiving Day murder in Jackson County

UPDATE POSTED 1:30 P.M. MAY 20, 2021

JACKSON COUNTY, Ky. WTVQ) – A 45-year-old McKee resident has been released from jail

Justin Burkhart

after more than five months after a grand jury declined to indict him in connection with a shooting death on Thanksgiving Day 2020.

According to the Jackson County Detention Center and Commonwealth Attorney Gary Gregory’s office, the grand jury returned a ‘no true bill’ against Clint Cox and he was released from jail May 5.

A ‘no true bill’ means the grand jury did not find enough evidence to support a criminal indictment on murder or some related charge.

Gregory was out of his office Thursday but an assistant prosecutor said he didn’t hear the grand jury presentation in the case but usually a ‘no true bill’ in such a case meant some evidence of self defense.

Kentucky State Police Det. Rob Morris could not be reached for comment Thursday about the evidence.

Cox originally was arrested and charged with murder on Nov. 26 after he fatally shot 21-year-old Justin Burkhart during an argument outside a home on Highway 421 in the McKee community. He had been in jail since then until his release earlier this month.


MCKEE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Thanksgiving Day argument left one man dead and another in jail in Jackson County, according to Kentucky State Police.

Investigators say 21-year old Justin Burkhart, of McKee, got into an altercation outside a home on US Highway 421 with 45-year old Clint Cox, also of McKee.

KSP says Cox grabbed a gun and shot Burkhart to death.  Investigators say it happened just after 2:00 p.m.  They did not say what the argument was about.

State Police say Cox was arrested and charged with murder.  He was taken to the Jackson County Detention Center.

Burkhart’s body is being taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville for an autopsy, according to KSP.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by KSP Post 7 Detective Rob Morris.  He was assisted at the scene by KSP personnel, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Coroner’s Office, Jackson County EMS and the McKee Fire Department.

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