Shannon Burke, on the air again, says he’s an alcoholic

September 2nd, 2009 by

orlandosentinel

Unemployed radio host Shannon Burke on Tuesday went back on the air and called himself an alcoholic who is intent on putting his life back together.

Burke, whose Orlando radio persona was that of a hard-drinking Harley rider, shot and wounded his wife and her dog April 30 in their bedroom. That night he told authorities it was an accident, and he said the same thing Tuesday.

“It was a life-changing mistake, a horrible accident,” he told former colleague Jim Philips on the Philips Phile on WTKS, 104.1 FM.

Burke said nothing more about the shooting, except that he realized he was an alcoholic the moment deputies clamped on the handcuffs that night.

Burke, 44, is charged with shooting into a dwelling and animal cruelty, two felonies that could send him to prison for 20 years.

Since the shooting, though, his wife, Cathy, has changed her account. She originally said he pointed the gun at her dog, pulled the trigger, and when it didn’t go off, he took out the clip, put in another and pulled the trigger again.

In court in July, she said the gun might have misfired.

Burke said on the radio Tuesday he is working to rebuild his marriage.

“Had it not been for this incident,” he said, “today I’d probably be drunk and I’d have been divorced. In a strange way, my marriage is stronger than it’s ever been.”

On July 16, Circuit Judge Marlene Alva said he could see his estranged wife only during sessions that involved a therapist.

Last week, his lawyer filed paperwork asking the judge to allow Burke more access to his wife. The pleading did not spell out how much more. The two still live in separate homes.

Burke also asked to be rid of a satellite tracking device he now wears.

On the radio Tuesday, Burke did not ask for his job back, but he apologized to the station, which fired him shortly after his arrest.

He also said he’s writing a book.


One Response

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