Angry D.A. Seeks Perjury Charge Against Gatlinburg Detective
Gatlinburg police detective Rodney Burns started a fire storm Monday when he testified at preliminary hearing for three Ooltewah coaches.
Burns told the court that there was no “rape or torture” of a 15 year old student who was attacked with a pool cue by other basketball players.
That statement, and others, drew a harsh response today from Hamilton county district attorney general Neal Pinkston, who’s now asking the TBI to investigate the detective for perjury.
DETECTIVE RODNEY BURNS, GATLINBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT “What this case actually is…is much smaller than what its been blown-up to be.”
Detective Burns saw the attack on a freshman basketball player on Gatlinburg from a different perspective than district attorney Neal Pinkston.
The D.A. is charging Ooltewah High School’s head basketball coach Andre Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Jesse Nayadley with failing to report abuse or suspected sexual abuse.
DET. BURNS “…they were not doing it for sexual gratification ..this was something stupid that kids do…that shouldn’t have been done.”
The student suffered serious injuries from a pool cue used by a senior as he was held down by two fellow players. he underwent surgery to his colon, bladder and prostate.
It happened December 23 as the team played in a tournament. The three students face a variety of charges including aggravated rape.
The detective’s assessment also drew other criticism.
DR. STEVE HIGHLANDER, MEMBER, HAMILTON CO. SCHOOL BOARD “I totally disagreed with the detective from Gatlinburg. I felt like the implications of the accusation were made i9n Gatlinburg and Sevier county were far more serious than the detective seemed to take.”
State senator Todd Gardenhire called the detective’s testimony “disturbing.”
An angry Chattanooga police Chief Fred Fletcher posted a comment on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday morning. He called it “rape”.
District attorney Pinkston’s office announced Wednesday that he is asking for a TBI investigation of “Detective Floyd Rodney Burns for perjurious testimony related to statements he made during sworn testimony in Hamilton County Juvenile Court ”
The D.A.’s office did not indicate which parts of Burn’s testimony may have been perjury.