UPDATE: Detective in Ooltewah rape case charged with aggravated perjury
A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted a Gatlinburg Detective on two counts of aggravated perjury, following his testimony in the rape case of an Ooltewah basketball player.
A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted a Gatlinburg detective on two counts of aggravated perjury, following his testimony in the rape case of an Ooltewah basketball player.
The case was presented to a grand jury on Monday and 55 year-old Floyd Rodney Burns turned himself into the Hamilton County Jail Friday morning, where he was released on a $2,500 bond.
"The charges stem from Detective Burns testimony during a preliminary hearing on Monday, February 15, 2016, in Hamilton County Juvenile County Juvenile Court," a press release from District Attorney General Neal Pinkston's office read.
Pinkston requested the TBI investigate Burns for perjury on February 17, 2016.
"During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information, that on February 15th, Floyd offered testimony in a juvenile hearing that was not truthful," said a TBI statement.
According to court documents, Burns is accused of making false statements in regards to if the victim in the case cried out in pain and when Burns alerted children's services about the assault.
The indictment says Burns prepared typewritten police reports with witness statements that said the victim "yelled out in pain because... had stuck the pool stick in the victim's rectum," and another witness said, "he could hear him yelling when they had attacked."
When Burns was on the witness stand he testified, "There was no rape, torture, no screams of anguish."
The second claim of perjury refers to Burns' reports to the Department of Children's Services.
During his initial questioning on the witness stand Burns was asked if he ever reported the case to DCS.
"Did you ever call DCS?" Attorney Curtis Bowe asked, "I tried to call them on Christmas Eve and there was no one at the office," Burns replied.
Later during cross examination, Pinkston asked Burns a similar question.
"You didn't report this did you?" he asked, "It didn't fall within the parameters of what we report," Burns said in response.
Burns' attorney, Bryan Delius of Sevierville, Tennessee, released a statement to the media following Burns' release from the Hamilton County Jail saying he asked Pinkston to recuse himself from the case due to a pending civil lawsuit.
"I filed timely petitions before the Grand Jury to recuse General Pinkston from presenting this criminal prosecution based on his clear interest in the outcome of this case due t o the pending civil claim lodged against general Pinkston for defamation."
Delius says he also asked the grand jury to allow testimony from an Assistant District Attorney from Sevier County with "actual knowledge of the case to explain to the Grand Jury that Detective Burns was innocent of any wrongdoing."
Delius says none of his petitions were considered. He also says Burns "vehemently denies that he committed perjury".
"Our office looks forward to aggressively defending against this ridiculous prosecution by Neal Pinkston," added Delius.
The Gatlinburg Police Department has reassigned Detective Burns "until he has been exonerated; convicted or further information is available about these charges."
Aggravated Perjury is a Class D Felony and carries a sentence of two to four years in jail.
"At this time, our office cannot release any further information, as prohibited by the Tennessee Supreme Court Rules of Professional Responsibility," a statement reads, adding Pinkston's office has asked the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office not to comment either.
READ MORE | CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE OOLTEWAH RAPE CASE: