Wednesday, May 14, 2008

'Wooded Rapist' suspect appointed public defender

Suspected "wooded rapist" Jason Burdick appeared in criminal court with public defender Gary Tamkin, right, during an arraignment hearing.

By CHRIS ECHEGARAY • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • May 14, 2008

The man accused of being the Wooded Rapist was appointed a public defender after he filled out paperwork claiming he was indigent at his arraignment this morning.

Robert Jason Burdick, 38, already facing charges in two other counties, entered the standard not guilty plea in front of Judge Seth Norman.

Two victims sat in the courtroom looking at who they think attacked them. One of the women claims to have bitten Burdick during the attack. The women declined to comment. .

Burdick is suspected in at least 13 rapes and other sexual related charges stemming from attacks between 1994 and 2008 in Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties.

He has been held without bail since his May 1 arrest on Interstate 24 in Rutherford County. Senior Assistant District Attorney General Roger Moore says it’s a high-profile case that’s important to the community. “How big this case is, I’ll answer when it’s over,” Moore says. “It’s important to our office and it’s important to the community.”Burdick’s lawyer, Gary Tamkin,
declined to comment.

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