Originally created 03/02/05

Authorities arrest man in ex-wife's slaying



GIBSON, Ga. - A Gibson-area man was charged Tuesday with killing of his estranged wife, less than 24 hours after the couple were involved in a minor incident that Glascock County Sheriff Dean Couch said seemed to end amicably.

Janet Burkett, 38, was pronounced dead at her home. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Gary Nicholson said her body has been sent to a crime lab to determine the cause of death.

K-9 units from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources tracked down Julius Burkett, 37, of Bethel Church Road, who was found in a wooded area near the crime scene, authorities said.

Agent Nicholson said he was taken to McDuffie Regional Medical Center, where he was stabilized and placed under observation. Authorities said he had tried to slit his wrists but was not bleeding when taken into custody.

The sheriff said a warrant had been issued for Mr. Burkett's arrest.

Sheriff Couch said Ms. Burkett had had a temporary protective order taken out against her ex-husband. The sheriff said he spoke with her at about 8 a.m. Monday about an incident that had occurred that morning.

"They had seen each other and stopped to talk," the sheriff said. "At some point he backed into her vehicle. She said he'd agreed to pay the damages and that they left on good terms. She told me everything was OK."

Family members say Ms. Burkett worked at a day care center in Stapleton.

She and her ex-husband had two children, Chacedie, 12, and Skyler, 6.