Man's murder charge downgraded to battery

Man's murder charge downgraded to battery
Shawn Gregory Burniston (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Death investigation on Arrowhead Farm Road
Death investigation on Arrowhead Farm Road

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro man originally accused of murdering his wife had his charges downgraded.

Officers found 43-year-old Jessica D. Burniston dead at her home on Arrowhead Farm Road in Jonesboro in late December 2017.

Her husband, Shawn Burniston, was found with an apparent self-inflicted knife wound to his wrist. At the time of the investigation, he told officers he hit his wife "multiple times with a pool cure and ax handle."

A judge found probable cause on Jan. 2, 2018 to charge him with murder.

However, he no longer faces that charge.

On May 7, prosecutors filed a motion to amend information in Craighead County Circuit Court.

According to the court document, an autopsy at the Arkansas State Crime Lab found Jessica Burniston's cause of death to be "methamphetamine intoxication."

The autopsy also noted several injuries from blunt force trauma.

In the motion, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Grant DeProw amended Burniston's charge to first-degree battery.

A new court date was not listed for Burniston in online records.

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