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Wooded Rapist hires new attorney seeking to overturn convictions

Jason Burdick Wooded Rapist recent jail photo
Posted at 3:36 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 19:37:45-04

The so-called "Wooded Rapist" was like a shadow — assaulting women and always one step ahead of the police.

The sexual predator terrorized much of Middle Tennessee for more than a decade before he was finally caught.

He's appealed and lost, but Jason Burdick is not giving up on trying to overturn his convictions.

This attempt is different than his previous failed appeals because this time is post-conviction relief. NewsChannel 5 learned his family has hired a new private attorney, and there may be new issues to argue.

"I'm loving. I'm giving. I'm the first one to come to rescue you in your car if it breaks down. I believe in giving back to the community," said Burdick after his arrest during an exclusive interview from jail before trial.

If you were a stranded woman, Burdick would be the last person you would want to see, police say.

"He's a dangerous person. He's someone who's a predator," said former Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe.

A serial rapist, Burdick terrorized Middle Tennessee from 1994 to 2008.

One of the first victims bit a piece of flesh from his hand.

When Burdick later became a suspect, DNA linked him to the rape, which then connected him to other crimes in three counties — Davidson, Wilson and Williamson.

Jason Burdick - wooded rapist
Jason Burdick's DNA linked him to crimes in three Tennessee counties from 1994 to 2008

Burdick's latest legal challenge consolidates his convictions and will likely challenge everything from the quality of his legal representation to decisions made by the trial judges.

But the chance of success is small considering the scientific evidence.

"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 convictions," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

Motions challenging the convictions in Davidson County alone fill a large file in the clerk's office.

They will take time to be heard, but prosecutors and victims like Pat Young have said since his conviction that they want to ensure Burdick never gets out of prison.

"They take people's souls to empower themselves, and that's deviance of human behavior. How do you feel toward him? I think he's a deviant subhuman," said Young after Burdick's conviction.

The bottom line: Burdick certainly has time to pursue these appeals. He's 52, and currently serving a 70-year sentence.

Burdick's most recent appeal likely will not be heard in criminal court until November.