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-PT073114 Hopper2.jpg The right track: Logansport boy advocates railroad crossing safety

    It's not uncommon to see 12-year-old Ethan Hopper sitting in a lawn chair near his father's business on 18th Street in Logansport, his cell phone pointed at a locomotive heading down the nearby tracks. The engines make up a fascination modern technol

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Cass Co. Community Foundation eligible for grant The Cass County Community Foundation is eligible to receive half a million dollars from Lilly Endowment Inc. as a matching grant at some point over the course of the next couple of years.Lilly Endowment announced the sixth phase of its Giving Indiana

    July 31, 2014

  • Locals: EPA delay request too late Logansport officials say while they appreciate a state executive’s request to delay new rules on coal power plants, its timing still requires pursuing a new power plant for the city.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published last month its Cl

    July 31, 2014

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 30, 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.

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • Area could see higher healthcare premiums Individual premiums for healthcare under the Patents Protection and Affordable Care Act could go up in counties with poorer health, according to a Ball State University study.The study said counties with poor health, specifically high diabetes incide

    July 30, 2014

  • NWS-PT072914 Voting2.jpg Round 2: Deadlines approach to file for November election Openings are filling up as deadlines to file approach to run for local town councils and school boards.Up for election this fall are town council seats in Royal Center’s districts No. 2, 3 and at large and at large in Walton as well. The filing deadl

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS-PT073014 Hickman.jpg Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    MONTICELLO — Two were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores. Lindsey R. Hogg, 22, Monticello, and Rachel D. Hickman, 23, Burnettsville, were arrested by the Lafayette

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Fatal wreck UPDATE: Monticello woman killed in overnight wreck

    A Monticello woman was killed late Monday night in an automobile accident involving a car and semi-trailer truck in the northbound lane of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

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
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
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 grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
eEdition