Gatlinburg Detective denies perjury allegation in Ooltewah Rape Case
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WDEF) – The attorney for Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns issues a statement on the TBI perjury investigation initiated at the request of Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pnkston.
Here is the entire statement:
Our client, Rodney Burns, a 25-year veteran of the Gatlinburg Police Department, wholly denies the baseless and reckless allegation of district Attorney General Neal Pinkston that he committed perjury during a preliminary hearing on Monday, February 15, 2016. Apparently General Pinkston should be concerned instead with the systemic failure of Hamilton County Schools to stop a history of bullying and hazing.
In the early morning hours of December 23, 2015, Detective Rodney Burns reported to an assault notification from LeConte Medical Center. His investigation revealed that three Ooltewah High School basketball players had committed assault and aggravated rape on another high school basketball player. Detective burns worked on Christmas day and throughout his vacation time to conduct a fast, efficient, and thorough investigation. As a result of his investigation, he obtained confessions from the perpetrators, discovered other victims, and filed criminal petitions in the Sevier County Juvenile Court charging aggravated rape and aggravated assault. On February 15, 2016, Detective Burns testified at the preliminary hearing for charges levies against coaches Karl Williams, Andre Montgomery, and Allard Nayadley. Detective Burns testified that the assault met the definition of aggravated rape and that he, after consultation with the Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, brought the appropriate juvenile charges.
General Pinkston seems more concerned with his own publicity than the well-being of the victims of these assaults. He has needlessly injected himself into this case for his own political ambitions at the cost of victims, pursing a seasoned detective who worked diligently and effectively to charge the perpetrators. Perhaps General Pinkston should focus on the multiple assaults occurring in his home county that were never prosecuted rather than prosecuting a detective who did his job.
Detective Burns is a repeat recipient of the Meritorious Service Award and has consistently earned high evaluations with the Gatlinburg Police Department. He has worked on numerous sexual assault and sexual abuse cases involving both children and adults, and he and aided in several FBI investigations. In 2015, he has recognized by Knoxville Internet Crimes Against Children Unit at the Everyday Heroes Conference.
Bryan E. Delius