BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — A man accused of raping more than a dozen women in the late 1990s and early 2000s is requesting a new trial in Davidson County, claiming his attorneys didn’t argue against the evidence used in his case.
Brentwood Police Chief Richard Hickey described what sounded like lines from a horror film as he thought back to a case he once investigated as a detective.
Jason Burdick is serving a 71-year sentence for a series of rapes in Davidson, Wilson, and Williamson counties; Burdick is known as the “Wooded Rapist.”
“We chased this guy for 14 years and he usually would do his attacks on rainy, stormy nights, so every time it was a rainy, stormy night ,you could feel the intensity come up a little bit and people were in fear for many years,” Chief Hickey recalled. “I was actually assigned one of the cases where he hid in Brentwood. There were actually four victims in Brentwood over those 14 years. It was my job to investigate the cases and try to find him….and luckily, through DNA evidence, we were finally able to catch him.”
DNA obtained by Brentwood police ultimately identified Burdick as the suspect. Hickey said the department had set up surveillance on Burdick, which took them to a restaurant where he was eating. After he was finished, investigators asked Burdick’s waitress for his utensils, and they were able to obtain his DNA.
Later, Burdick was pulled over for a traffic stop and gave an officer inconsistent stories, according to Hickey. Although Burdick did not consent to his car being searched, his DNA eventually identified him as a suspect.
Hickey said the mind of a serial rapist can be hard to comprehend or make sense of.
“Just a totally different mindset that you spend your days and weeks and months planning out crimes and attacking somebody in such a vicious way,” Hickey said.
Hickey said he has faith that the justice system will keep Burdick behind bars.
“[It’s] an incredibly, incredibly vicious crime and a crime that takes away somebody’s sense of safety, sense of person,” the police chief explained. “Their lives are changed forever because of what he did, and that’s why it was so important to us to catch him.”
No decision was made during Tuesday’s hearing on whether Burdick would be granted a new trial. Court is set to resume on July 13.