Double murder, arson suspect enters ‘not guilty’ plea
By Ken Childers
A man accused of murdering two people then setting fire to their house made an appearance in Okfuskee County District Court last week, where he entered a plea of not guilty.
Joshua Ryan Green, 29 was charged in February with two counts of murder in the first degree-deliberate attempt and one count of arson in relation to the deaths of 57-year-old Tina Burleigh and her 22-year-old son, Tim Rush.
According to court records, Green appeared before Associate District Judge Maxey Riley last Thursday, and is due back in court again on March 26 for a pre-hearing conference. Green is represented by Attorney Curt Allen of Okmulgee through the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, which provides criminal defense services at the expense of the state.
On Feb. 5, Okfuskee County Sheriff Jim Rasmussen requested the assistance of the OSBI after reports of an early morning house fire at the 100000 block of North 3840 Road. The bodies of Burleigh and Rush were discovered inside the home, and authorities say they had been murdered before the house was set on fire.
Green was identified as a suspect and he led authorities on a 16-hour manhunt before being apprehended in Clearview. He was reportedly wearing only his underwear when the manhunt ensued before daybreak, but before the day was over he had stripped completely.
The Lighthorse K9 Unit of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was called in to help track Green and initially picked up his trail at a vacant house in Clearview. During a search of the house, officers spotted blood on the floor and noticed that several items had been moved.
Green was eventually tracked to a house in Clearview owned by former marine Billy Walker, who invited Green inside in an effort to help officers catch him. Walker’s sister, Clearview Mayor Marilyn Jackson, alerted authorities by phone that Green was inside her brother’s house.
A canine was unleashed after Green failed to comply with commands and to show officers his hands.
Green sustained minor injuries from the dog during the incident and was placed under arrest before being taken to the hospital for medical treatment. He was treated and released and then booked into the Okfuskee County Jail.
Officers said Green swam naked through two creeks and trudged barefoot through snow-packed terrain during the manhunt. According to Rasmussen, Green was unable to walk and required the use of a walker for several days after he was apprehended.
According to court records, Green has run afoul of the law in the past. In 2016, he was charged with two felony counts of burglary in the second degree, larceny of an automobile, knowingly concealing stolen property, malicious injury to property and conspiracy. Records indicate he pled guilty to all charges.