Judge drops charges against Ooltewah rape case detective
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Gatlinburg Detective Rodney Burns’ attorney said he wants the public to know that burns did not commit perjury.
Burns was accused of perjury during a hearing in the Ooltewah rape case.
Tuesday afternoon Hamilton County Judge Tom Greenholtz signed an order dismissing the case on the grounds that the juvenile court didn’t have the authority to hold the hearing.
Despite the now dropped case, Burns’ attorney Bryan Delius said the courts and prosecutors in Gatlinburg have never faltered in their confidence in Detective Burns.
“There was several instances of fraud here that you may be aware of from funds that were established for the victims of the wildfires and Rodney Burns took the lead in investigating those fraudulent actions of individuals to defraud those monies and has worked closely with the TBI and the FBI in investigating those while these charges were pending in Hamilton County those law enforcement agencies never had one concern about his truthfulness or his ability to do his job,” Delius said.
Burns’ attorney added that they’re extraordinarily pleased that the case was dropped.
“It’s the right result it’s one we’ve been anticipating for quite sometime, glad these charges are finally dismissed and this burden is off of Detective Burns. The charges should have never been brought in the first place,” Delius said.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Due to a technicality, a judge has dismissed perjury charges against a Tennessee detective accused of lying under oath about a rape case involving high school basketball players.
Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz said the juvenile court where the detective’s testimony occurred didn’t have legal authority to hold a preliminary hearing.
Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns had faced two counts of aggravated perjury based on testimony about a freshman Ooltewah (OOL’-teh-wah) High School basketball player who prosecutors said was sexually assaulted by teammates. Burns faced two counts of aggravated perjury in Hamilton County because prosecutors said he made “untruthful statements” during a February 2016 hearing in which he said the assault had been blown out of proportion.
Burns’ attorney applauded the dismissal in a statement and maintained that the detective hadn’t committed perjury.
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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hamilton County Judge Tom Greenholtz has finally closed the books on the criminal side of the Ooltewah rape case.
He has dismissed the perjury charges filed against Gatlinburg Detective Rodney Burns.
Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed the perjury charges after Burns testified in court that he didn’t think the case was really rape.
But Judge Greenholtz has ruled that the original hearing in Juvenile was invalid, so the testimony should never have happened.
From the court document, the judge wrote “The Court recognizes that the result of this decision will not be popular with some members of the community.Although this case does not involve the juveniles or school officials involved in the underlying case, our community has nevertheless continued to follow this matter with great interest- and properly so.”
However the case isn’t done quite yet.
Detective Burns still has a $300,000 libel suit pending against D.A. Pinkston.