Man charged after police say he shot his son-in-law in the face with a shotgun

Man charged after police say he shot his son-in-law in the face with a shotgun

April 24th, 2019 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Roger Dale Burgess, 60, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, being a felon in possession of a firearm and domestic assault. / Photo contributed by the Franklin County Jail

Roger Dale Burgess, 60, is charged with attempted...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

A Decherd, Tennessee, man is behind bars on a charge of attempted murder after police say he shot his son-in-law in the face with a 20-gauge shotgun.

Roger Dale Burgess, 60, now faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and domestic assault after allegedly shooting Tommy Wayne Wilkerson, his son-in-law, officials said.

According to a police statement, Decherd police officers got to the duplex about 6:51 p.m. Monday, found Burgess armed with a shotgun and quickly detained him. Wilkerson was found lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his face, police stated in the release. Emergency medical personnel treated Wilkerson at the scene before he was airlifted to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga for treatment.

Wilkerson, the elder of the two men and about 66 years old, has not yet been interviewed because of his injuries, according to Decherd police Chief Ross Peterson.

The shooting happened at a duplex in the 200 block of College Street, Peterson said. The duplex is across the street from the City of Decherd Babe Ruth Ball Park. Peterson said Burgess told investigators Wilkerson threatened him with a knife and that he was acting in self-defense.

Peterson said Wednesday that Wilkerson had an order of protection against his wife, who lives next door with her father, Burgess, in a duplex. There have been ongoing problems between the two men for "quite some time," Peterson said.

Peterson said more or upgraded charges are possible in the case.

"We feel very good about our case," he said.

Franklin County General Sessions Court officials said Wednesday that Burgess is being held without bond, has no attorney on record yet but has an upcoming court date May 2.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at