Serial rapist Jason Burdick wants post-conviction relief years after being sentenced

Posted at 3:12 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 15:36:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Jason Burdick, the so-called wooded rapist was like a shadow, assaulting women and always one step ahead of police. He terrorized much of middle Tennessee for more than a decade but was finally caught in 2008.

Now, years after Jason Burdick was convicted, he is requesting a new trial.

At the time, it was a huge story. The community was terrified. NewsChannel 5's Nick Beres was the only reporter to ever talk to Burdick and he lied the entire time.

"I'm loving. I'm giving. I'm the first one to come rescue you in your car if it breaks down. I believe in giving back to the community," Burdick said in the exclusive interview in 2009.

If you were a stranded woman Burdick would be the last person you would want to see. "He's a dangerous person. He's someone who's a predator," said Terry Ashe the sheriff of Wilson County at the time.

Police said Burdick attacked at night in wooded areas sneaking into homes. They believe he committed at least thirteen rapes in Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties dating back to 1994 before he was caught prowling in a neighborhood.

"This selfish, heartless, inhuman criminal caused too much pain in our community," said then-Nashville police chief Ronal Serpas.

District attorneys lined up to prosecute Burdick and the cases were strong. The DNA evidence was overwhelming.

In one trial it took the jury fewer than three hours to convict. Victims like Pat Young wanted to make sure Burdick never got out of prison. "They take people's souls to empower themselves and that's deviance of human behavior. I think he's a deviant subhuman."

Early appeals failed and now Burdick is seeking post-petition relief, challenging the effectiveness of his lawyers.

Newschannel5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo says even if his lawyers made mistakes - and that's a big if - it does nothing to diminish the science against him.

"It's hard to show that your lawyer was so ineffective that the outcome would have been different, especially with all that DNA evidence. It makes it very difficult to overturn the conviction," Leonardo explained.

Burdick's motion was heard briefly in Davidson County criminal court Thursday morning, but the hearing is now postponed until June.

He has the right to see this through, but experts say his chances of ever getting out of prison are slim and none. Jason Burdick is 51 years old and currently serving a sentence of more than 70 years in prison.