Mindie S. Rod's Story Wednesday, 6:30 PM In march of 2003, Rodney Burton was charged with the death of a young girl named Dana Pliakas. Rodney went to trial claiming is innocence throughout. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Rodney was convicted without any evidence, to prove he committed the crime.
I would like to give you some background on the trial. Due to Mr.Burton's indigent status he was appointed two "well experienced attorney's." Both attorneys confronted Rodney with a plea of life in prison without parole if he plead guilty. Rodney refused claiming that he was Innocent. The attorney's then confessed that they would not win this case for him due to the political outcome of the Case. In response Rodney sent the Honorable Judge Colville a letter explaining that neither attorney planned on giving Rodney the defenses due to him and that he needed a new defense team. He never received a response and the same attorneys remained on the Case. When the other attorney for the other defendant informed Rodney's attorney about a ballistics's report that stated that the shooter in this crime appeared to be left handed Rodney's attorney refused to use the evidence because he stated the "the other attorney was sleeping or dating the women in ballistics for that outcome.
Another issues that the attorney's appeared not to be so honest about was the matter concerning the victims clothing... The two witness for the state said that Rodney has given them the clothes to dispose of on early Sunday morning. In the report they went and looked for the dumpster on Monday morning and they could not find the clothes. The police stated the trash company picked up the dumpster the Monday morning but in all fact the family had come to find out that trash day for that area had been Fridays for the last four years.
Another major issue in this case is the DNA evidence that was never brought out in court. DNA test showed that they found sperm inside and outside of the victims body. The test also proved that they found five pubic hairs belonging to a black male. DNA test proved that Rodney's DNA did not match that in the victim but that it did match that of the victim's boyfriend, who stated that the last time he had sexual contact with the victim was on Wednesday before the victims death. The victim's mother also testified that the victim showered that morning before she left the house. The boyfriend also provided police with a false name and address and had to be arrested to obtain a DNA sample.
The main witness in the States was given a deal for crimes he committed in the past and had charges dropped in this case if he agreed to testify in the case against Rodney. This witness has a extensive criminal past and was believed to be the main party in this crime. Rodney's attorney never tried to impeach his testimony about his contradicting statements that he made throughout this case and never brought up the fact that he was questioned for this crime also. All witness and people interviewed in this case have very contradicting statements when it involves the part of Rodney.