Prosecution rests in Wooded Rapist case

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 5:21pm

Closing arguments in the trial of the accused Wooded Rapist will begin Wednesday after the prosecution finished presenting its case. Robert Jason Burdick stands accused of the 2007 rape of a 61-year-old woman inside her Donelson area home.

Police believe Burdick to the Wooded Rapist, to whom 13 rapes have been attributed dating back to 1994. Burdick, 39, elected not to testify in the trial and his defense team said it will not present any additional witnesses.

Police said last year after Burdick was arrested following a traffic stop that the case against the Wooded Rapist turned on DNA evidence. DNA experts from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation testified Tuesday that evidence linked Burdick to the rape of the victim at a level of probability exceeding the entire world’s population.

After the victim called police, a rape kit test was performed at Metro General Hospital at Meharry. Burdick’s DNA was allegedly found on swabs done of the victim’s mouth, breasts and anus, according to TBI Agent Chad Johnson’s testimony.

The defense attempted to poke holes in Johnson’s testimony concerning the probability that the DNA matched Burdick. Police said the Wooded Rapist used a ski mask and attacked typically on rainy nights in wooded areas.

The Wooded Rapist’s victims ranged in age from 16-years old to 61-years old and lived in Davidson, Williamson and Wilson County. Burdick faces up to 56 years in prison if he is found guilty of the crimes. He is scheduled to begin trial in Williamson County later this summer.