A jury found a serial rapist guilty Friday morning of raping a 16-year-old Brentwood girl in 1999.
Burdick Found Guilty | Burdick Retracts Guilty Plea Twice | Video | Rape Victim Gives Testimony
Robert Jason Burdick, a former security company owner, was found guilty of the aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping of 16-year-old Elizabeth Miller at gunpoint more than a decade ago at her home while her parents slept upstairs.
The jury deliberated about an hour and a half before reaching the verdict Friday.
Budick will be sentenced July 13. His next trial will be in Wilson County on charges of raping the niece of his former girlfriend.
Miller testified Thursday that Burdick entered her bedroom, put a gun to her head and led her outside. He then took her to a garage a couple hundred yards away, put duct tape on her mouth and tried to tape her eyes as well, she said.
Miler said Burdick then pushed her down on a doormat and then raped her. She said she asked him why he was doing this, and she said her attacker replied, "because you're beautiful." Miller said in court Thursday that she still hates the word "beautiful" 10 years after the attack.
Despite DNA evidence in the case, Burdick's defense attorney said there wasn't enough for a guilty verdict.
Burdick will be sentenced July 13. His next trial will be in Wilson County on charges of raping the niece of his former girlfriend.
Suspect Pleads Guilty, Retracts Plea Twice
On Wednesday, Burdick went before the judge in Williamson County and pleaded guilty in the rape case but later retracted that plea twice.
The judge told him his plea would mean a minimum 15-year sentence and a maximum sentence of 25 years.
Burdick decided to speak with his attorneys behind closed doors. The courtroom cleared as he and his attorneys discussed the plea before it would have been finalized.
Once court resumed, Burdick decided to retract the guilty plea, telling his attorney, "I just can't do it." A jury was later selected and opening statements began Wednesday.
Elizabeth Miller said she was ready for the trial and that it didn't matter that Burdick changed his mind about the plea. She said it wouldn't change the outcome of the trial.
Police said Burdick attacked a dozen women in Williamson, Davidson and Wilson counties within a 14-year period. Burdick earned the nickname "Wooded Rapist" because his victims always lived near the woods and the attacks happened on rainy nights, according to police.
Before Friday's verdict, he had already been found guilty in three separate trials and is currently serving 62 years in prison.