LUBBOCK, Texas — Kennon Charles Shaw, 53, who pleaded guilty to murder for the shooting of 28-year-old Joseph Burks at the Angelwitch Cabaret, was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

Shaw pleaded guilty to the March 2022 killing on August 4.

A search warrant previously obtained by stated surveillance video at the club showed an altercation between Shaw and Joseph. The victim’s family said Shaw came into the gentleman’s club with a regular customer and was acting “inappropriate” with the dancers. The family said Joseph was doing his job and asked Shaw to leave.

Court documents stated, “The video shows the suspect firing a shot and Joseph going down to the floor. The suspect then fires another shot at the club manager, who was not struck by the bullet.”

Kennon Charles Shaw (Booking image: Lubbock County Detention Center)

Shaw went on the run after the shooting and was arrested in Austin a week later. 

Joseph was a single father who left behind a 6-year-old son. His family described him as a “light” with a contagious smile. In a statement read to the court on Wednesday, Joseph’s mother, Angie Burks, said her son was a hard worker. Angie said Joseph worked all night and got off in time to bring coffee to his grandmother in the morning.

“He always made time for family and especially his son,” Angie said. Angie called Joseph caring and forgiving. She said Joseph could go up to “a complete stranger that looked sad or alone” and include them in conversation to make their day better.

He was the heart of our family. He was the one to always remind us to show grace, to pray, love and forgive.

Angie Burks

Angie said Joseph’s son would never have his father in his life. She said their family would relive what happened for the rest of their lives.

“We are a family of faith and know one day we will be able to see Joseph again,” Angie said.

Judge William Eichman told Shaw he earned his sentenced because of his criminal record and because of what happened that night. Judge Eichman said the killing was planned the moment Shaw got upset with a dancer. He said it was “by the grace of God” that Shaw missed the other bouncer when he fired another shot.

“I’m sentencing you to life in prison because you are a danger to society,” Judge Eichman told Shaw.