Pharos-Tribune

Local News

January 17, 2013

Rape conviction reinstated for Logansport man

Jason Burkett to serve remainder of 40-year-sentence, pending action by special judge.

LOGANSPORT — A 40-year-sentence prison sentence has been reinstated for the 32-year-old Logansport man who had previously overturned his conviction for two counts of rape.

Jason Burkett was convicted in 2004 of raping his former girlfriend, but won post-conviction relief and was cleared of the charges. The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned his post-conviction relief Tuesday, meaning that his rape conviction and sentence are reinstated, pending action by Special Judge Robert Steele.

Burkett was found guilty June 1, 2004, of two counts of rape, class B felonies, criminal deviate conduct, a class B felony, sexual battery, a class D felony, and criminal confinement, a class D felony. He applied for post-conviction relief twice, citing problems with his defense attorney. Special Judge Robert McCallen granted the second post-conviction relief and Burkett was released from jail in April. He was later arrested Aug. 17 on warrants for voyeurism charges.

McCallen granted the relief because he found that trial counsel rendered “ineffective assistance” in failing to call a witness who was reportedly at Burkett’s residence on the night the rape was reported to have occurred, according to court documents. McCallen stated the outcome of the trial may have been different because the woman would have reported she did not hear anything unusual.

Documents state that McCallen also granted the relief because he found that Burkett’s attorney did not include testimony from Burkett’s mother and brother, who would have stated that the victim had previously been upset at Burkett for videotaping a previous sexual encounter. This could have led the jury to believe “that the victim’s rape accusation was motivated by anger at Burkett.”

Cass County Prosecutor Kevin Enyeart appealed Special Judge McCallen’s decision to grant post-conviction.

“Mr. Burkett committed these rapes,” Enyeart said. “I believed it from day one.”

In a decision handed down Tuesday, the Court of Appeals ruled that the woman’s testimony would not have changed the outcome because she was not at home at the time when the victim reported that the rape occurred.

“We believe the post-conviction court overestimated the import” of the woman’s “proposed testimony,” the document states.

The Court of Appeals also overturned the second reason for post conviction relief, stating that video tape of the reported rape shows that the sexual encounter was not consensual.

With the Court of Appeals decision, Enyeart said Burkett is again charged with rape.

“Right now the rape conviction has been reinstated,” Enyeart said.

The Indiana Court of Appeals has asked Special Judge Robert Steele to review the remaining claims in Burkett’s post-conviction relief. Enyeart said he has many options, including granting post-conviction relief on the remaining claims.

Enyeart said Burkett could also apply for post-conviction relief again, but that the Court of Appeals denied the biggest points in his argument.

“Those were his best chances of getting post-conviction relief,” Enyeart said.

Enyeart said Burkett has about 20 years of his sentence remaining, meaning that he would serve about ten years due to good-time credit.

Burkett also awaits a Feb. 14 sentencing after pleading guilty Jan. 10 to voyeurism, a class D felony.

Enyeart said the overturned post-conviction relief will not affect the plea agreement.

“The judge can either accept or reject the plea agreement,” Enyeart said.

The plea agreement in the voyeurism case calls for three years in prison. Enyeart said those three years would be added to the remainder of his 40-year-sentence.

After years of work on this case, Enyeart said he feels the right decision has been made.

“I feel that justice has been done,” Enyeart said.

Burkett remains in the Cass County Jail without bond.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT042414 Princess Singing-MAK Fairy tale remix: Lewis Cass presents "Once Upon a Mattress" WALTON -- Barbra Burch played Queen Aggravain in Lewis Cass High School's 1985 production of "Once Upon a Mattress." Twenty-nine years later, she is directing the musical at the school. "It's kind of surreal," she said. "There are some things that ta

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Indiana Packers opening Frankfort plant FRANKFORT -- Delphi-based Indiana Packers bought a former Birchwood Foods meat plant in Frankfort and plans to reopen it this summer. Indiana Packers, which employs 2,000 full time at its Delphi plant, is investing $2.28 million to purchase, renovate

    April 24, 2014

  • Minding the nutrition gap Almost one in five children in Cass County who sometimes don't have access to enough food for a healthy life aren't eligible for federal assistance programs designed to address that lack, a new study indicates. Feeding America's Map the Meal Gap proj

    April 24, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition