Police: Inmate bit, choked corrections officer at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail in James City

By Susan Robertson

10:08 PM EDT, July 24, 2014


JAMES CITY - A Yorktown man incarcerated at Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail while awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge is facing three new felonies after police say he bit and choked a corrections officer.

William Edward Burks Jr., 29, was charged Thursday with assault and battery of a corrections officer, maiming and strangulation related to the July 19 incident at the jail, according to Deputy Chief Stephen Rubino with James City police.

Rubino said around 5:20 p.m. on July 19, Burks had a dispute about his meal tray with a corrections officer. The verbal altercation became physical, and Burks bit the guard on the right hand, police said. 

Burks then put his arm around the officer's neck and began to choke him, according to Rubino. He said other officers broke up the incident and restrained Burks.

Burks is accused in the homicide of 23-year-old Devon Coates, and faces charges of second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and wearing body armor while committing a crime in York County, according to Daily Press archives. He is scheduled for a jury trial on Oct. 27.