Opp murder suspect arrested in Arizona; accused in March death of Kelvin Burks

Published 9:15 am Saturday, December 2, 2023

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A suspect was arrested Friday in connection to the death of an Opp man in March.

According to the Opp Police Department, Joseph Wayne Christopher, 40, of Mobile was apprehended in Maricopa County, Arizona on a warrant for the murder of Kelvin Burks, 41. The murder warrant against Christopher was obtained in October by the OPD’s Criminal Investigations Division following its investigation.

Opp law enforcement received assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force after discovering that Christopher had fled Alabama and was living in Arizona.

“The collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies across state lines led to the successful apprehension of the suspect,” Opp officials stated in a press release.

The investigation began when Opp Police responded to a distress call on March 4, 2023 at approximately 12:55 p.m. Officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2300 block of W. Cummings Avenue following a report of a possible deceased male. Upon arrival, officer discovered Burks lifeless in the kitchen area of the home.

“Criminal investigators were immediately summoned to the scene to conduct a thorough examination and their diligent efforts eventually led to the identification of Joseph Wayne Christopher as a suspect in this heinous crime,” officials said.

The Opp Police Department expresses its gratitude to the Mesa Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service-Fugitive Task Force, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency-State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), Alabama Fusion Center, and the Covington County District Attorney’s Office and all other agencies involved in the successful apprehension of Christopher.

“The arrest brings a significant development in the pursuit of justice for the victim, Kelvin Burks, and provides a measure of closure to the community,” said Opp Police.

Opp Police reminds the public that all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.