Burdick convicted in rape of Nashville woman

Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 5:41pm

A jury Thursday afternoon convicted Robert Jason Burdick on two counts in connection with the rape of a Nashville woman.

After deliberating for about an hour, the jury found Burdick guilty of especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape charges for binding the hands and taping the eyes of a woman and her mother, then raping the daughter. He is already serving 42 years for convictions in two other cases.

"In our assessment, it was all or nothing," Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said. "It came down to just proving the identity [of the rapist], and DNA said it was Robert Jason Burdick." 

Defense attorney Fletcher Long characterized it as a quick decision. “We tried a case,” he told The City Paper after the verdict was read. “We could either convict him or acquit him.”

The verdict follows a day and a half of testimony, at the center of which was the validity of DNA evidence that is the only link between Burdick and the rape of a woman at her Tusculum Road home on Feb. 18, 2000.

The DNA in this case came from a sperm sample collected from of a swab of the victim’s labia and was analyzed by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which linked the sample with 12 of 13 genetic images from Burdick’s own DNA.

Burdick will be sentenced May 5. He faces the maximum penalty of 25 years for each count.