FARMINGTON — An Ogden man facing over a dozen felonies after being accused of committing rapes in Utah and across the western United States pleaded not guilty to all charges Monday morning.
Mark Douglas Burns, 69, entered not guilty pleas to all 17 first-degree felonies during a brief arraignment hearing Monday morning in Farmington. Burns is facing multiple counts of aggravated sex assault, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated burglary, and a single count of aggravated robbery.
Burns has been charged in connection with the sexual assaults of several women around the state nearly two decades ago. Investigators had filed charges in 2003 against a DNA profile, but until recently could not determine to whom the DNA profile belonged. Police found Burns’ through a familial DNA match.
Though the hearing lasted only a few minutes, Burns’ attorney — Colleen Coeburgh — indicated she had filed a motion earlier in the day to dismiss a handful of charges against Burns.
In the motion, Coeburgh argued that the evidence outlined in recently amended information in the case is entirely different than what was filed in 2003, when charges were filed against a DNA profile which authorities would later allege to be that of Burns.
Citing case law, she argues that the newer charges are not “essentially the same facts used to charge almost identical offenses.” She argues the state must show how the new charges connect to the older information if prosecutors want to charge Burns with the additional offenses. The newer information includes charges that carry mandatory prison sentences of 15 years to life behind bars.
She also argued that the statute of limitations has ran out for all the charges filed in the recent amended information.
“As described by the Supreme Court, the statute of limitations has run on all the charges filed by the State in its Second Amended Information, the charges are ‘dead,’ and it would constitute error on the part of this Court to fail to dismiss the Second Amended Information,” Coeburgh wrote in the motion.
Prosecutors have yet to file a response to the motion.
Burns, a long-haul truck driver, is also implicated in other unsolved sexual assaults in Rock Springs and Laramie, Wyoming. He is being held without bail at the Davis County Jail.
His has another court hearing scheduled for Jan. 27 in Farmington’s 2nd District Court.