Gatlinburg detective defends testimony, district attorney responds, claims detective perjured himself

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 2/15/16. Detective Rodney Burns of the Gatlinburg Police Department is questioned as a witness before Judge Robert Philyaw during a preliminary hearing for the Ooltewah High School basketball coaches and the school's athletic director in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on February 15, 2016. Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston charged head coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley with failing to report child abuse or suspected child sexual abuse in connection with the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman by his basketball teammates Dec. 22, 2015.
photo Detective Rodney Burns of the Gatlinburg Police Department is sworn in as a witness before Judge Robert Philyaw during a preliminary hearing for the Ooltewah High School basketball coaches and the school's athletic director in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on Monday.

An attorney for a Gatlinburg, Tenn., police detective calls allegations that the officer may have spoken untruthfully during a hearing in the Ooltewah basketball rape case "base" and "reckless."

Attorney Bryan E. Delius, in a news release, said Detective Rodney Burns, a 25-year veteran with the Gatlinburg department, "wholly denies" any wrongdoing.

However, Melydia Clewell, spokeswoman for District Attorney General Neal Pinkston, released this statement in response to Delius' letter:

"General Pinkston believes Detective Burns perjured himself in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on Monday, February 15.