Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wooded Rapist gets 50 years for '98 case

By Harriet Vaughan • THE TENNESSEAN • July 14, 2010

 FRANKLIN — Robert Jason Burdick, also known as the Wooded Rapist, has been sentenced to 50 years for the 1998 rape of a Brentwood teenager.

He also was ordered to pay $100,000 in fines.

A Williamson County jury convicted Burdick in May of raping Elizabeth "Zea" Miller, who was 16 at the time. The Tennessean does not normally name rape victims, but Miller said during the trial that she refused to accept shame for being a victim.

Judge Timothy Easter delivered the sentence after hearing testimony from Miller, her mother, father and a Brentwood detective.

"You had no right. You still have no right. And the fact that you caused me damage, you have no right. You are not human. You don't deserve the life you've been given," Miller said, looking at Burdick.

Burdick told the judge he was not happy with his lawyers, who said they will ask to withdraw.

The sentence will begin after he serves 62 years for three rape convictions in Davidson County. He faces more rape charges in Williamson, Wilson and Davidson counties.

Burdick was accused of 13 rapes beginning in 1994. The rapes occurred on rainy nights in neighborhoods that bordered wooded areas, hence the nickname "Wooded Rapist."

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