Gatlinburg police detective Rodney Burns started a fire storm Monday when he testified at the preliminary hearing for three Ooltewah coaches and has not slowed down. Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston asked the TBI to investigate the detective for perjury.
The case surrounding Ooltelwah has been described with many words, tragic and unbelievable just to name a few. Today I spoke with attorney Bryan Delius who is representing detective Rodney Burns, and he had a different word in mind, reckless….
“The thing that is most disturbing to me is he makes this reckless allegation that an officer has perjured himself when he didn’t even have the file. He had not reviewed the file.”
Hamilton County District Attorney General Neal Pinkston’s suggestion that a Gatlinburg detective perjured himself while testifying in a high school basketball rape case has been met with strong opposition to say the least.
“For him to make these types of allegations and assertions that there are false testimony when he hasn’t reviewed the file, yes I think that is beyond reckless,” said Mr. Delius.
District Attorney Pinkston’s office announced Wednesday that he is asking for a TBI investigation of Detective 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 Burns’ testimony may have been perjury.
But Burns’ attorney says that Pinkston was surprised by what detective Burns had to say, because he never interviewed him.
“I don’t know what lawyer prepares a case for a hearing and doesn’t interview the witnesses, never called Rodney burns. He never requested to meet with Rodney Burns. He never inquired into what his testimony was going to be. I have just never seen that done before, ” said Bryan Delius.
TBI agents retrieved case files from Gatlinburg yesterday, and if this case is brought to court, Mr. Delius says he will be ready.
“You got a Maverick down there on your hands, and if he wants to bring charges against Rodney Burns, we will gladly be down there to defend him.”
Pinkston’s office responded to the accusations of this being a publicity stunt by saying, “He is a career prosecutor with no interest in leaving Chattanooga, Tennessee. Last fall he respectfully declined the Haslam Administration’s attempts to appoint him to an open judgeship in Hamilton County.”