Judge dismisses perjury charges against Gatlinburg detective in Ooltewah rape case

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 8/23/16. Gatlinburg Police Detective Rodney Burns, left, speaks to his attorneys Stephen Greer and Bryan after appearing in Judge Tom Greenholtz's criminal courtroom on charges of perjury following his testimony in the Ooltewah High School rape case earlier this year.

A judge on Tuesday dismissed criminal charges against the Gatlinburg, Tenn., police detective accused of making false statements during a hearing in the Ooltewah rape case.

Prosecutors charged Rodney "Floyd" Burns with two counts of aggravated perjury for lying during a Juvenile Court hearing in February 2016 for three former Ooltewah High School employees charged with failure to report child abuse.

But there was one problem with that February 2016 hearing, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz wrote. Juvenile Court didn't have "the statutory or constitutional authority" to hold it for the criminal charges the adults faced.

And if a court doesn't have jurisdiction to hold a proceeding, then nothing that comes from the proceeding is lawful.