Husband Acted In Self-Defense



Although I should not be surprised, I am amazed by the number of falsehoods that have been promulgated regarding the events that occurred that led to my husband’s arrest.

I have made a decision not to read any of the articles so that my understanding of the truth would not be stained with the conjectures and projections of others. Friends have telephoned and visited telling me what has been printed and is being represented as truth.

Here is what I do know. No one living next door could have possibly seen what occurred between my husband and his aggressor unless they possessed X-ray vision that could pierce through my big van.

My husband’s assailant came up to the rear of the van, and then around it toward where he saw my husband standing near our side door.

He approached my husband in a menacing fashion with fists raised, making it clear he intended bodily harm.

My husband is 72 years old and 5’6” tall. His assailant was in his early 50s and very large and tall. My husband’s attacker made it clear he intended to seriously hurt him. In such an uneven match, the only equalizer my husband had was his gun. He would not be able to survive a beating at the hands of this huge man. Not possible. He was too frail. If he had not shot this aggressor, then he would be dead. No doubt about it.

I want to publicly thank the many individuals who have pledged to help in some way. I am deeply moved by their courage and offers of financial and physical support. They represent the heart of Payson. Some have directly benefited from my husband’s generosity and help. Others know me and want to offer support during these critical times. Both of us appreciate the love and support we are receiving.

Patricia A. Rollins


don evans 1 year, 6 months ago

I am sorry for you and the victim. It's a terrible tragedy for all. BUT, I have heard no rational reason as to why it was necessary for your husband to step outside and confront the individual in person or even open the door. You even comment on his frail stature. Why did he not retreat back inside? What was the emergency? Prized Garden flowers being stepped on? A wandering loose dog on the property? The Police were on the way already and had advised not to go outside and confront the individual. No matter how it all plays out, all will have to live with their individual actions.


Rex Hinshaw 1 year, 6 months ago

Don, I think you lecturing her is way out of line. YOU don't know what happened...she was there. Frankly I am tired of your comments about how he should have stayed in his house or retreated back into it.You also have made some comments about the garden. You have no idea about how much it might have meant to him.Was it worth a But until all of the facts come out....we still have the right to defend ourselves...especially on our own property


Kim Chittick 1 year, 6 months ago

Yikes Rex!! NONE of us knows what happened, and before you say it, no, even this woman does not know. She is in a wheelchair and it's doubtful she could have gotten outside quickly enough to see.

I think that you chastising Don, and essentially telling him that his opinions are without merit is out of line. This is a public forum, where each of us has a right to our opinion and to post it.

I, too have commented that Mike should have stayed in his house or gone back inside. No, THING, garden, car, etc is worth a human life. No matter how much it may mean to you.

Frankly, I think that her posting is shocking. Her elderly, "frail" "partner" is in prison with a murder charge hanging over his head, she is in a wheelchair clearly needing some level of care, and a man lost his life outside of her back door and his body laid there for several hours, while an investigation ensued. I cannot comprehend the agony of Mr. Burnette's wife, knowing that her beloved ill, dead husband was left to lay in the dirt, because their disturbed, peculiar neighbor decided to use a gun to protect some plants that in all likelihood will be dead in a day or so from the freeze.

Instead of posting and trying to defend him in a public forum which really has no bearing on anything, I would think she would be rallying attorneys and funds in his defense, where it really matters. And, truly, what kind of "friends" does she have who are reporting to her what is being said on these forums?

Good grief, Rex, this IS a PUBLIC forum, where we, each and every one of us, is guaranteed the right to post our opinion, whether others like it, agree with it, or not, and yes, even Mr. Voden's partner has that right, unseemly though it may look.

As for your assertion that " we still have the right to defend ourselves...especially on our own property", of course we do!! Do we assert that right simply because we have it? Of course not. We use good judgment and common sense. There would have been no need for Mike to "defend himself" if he had simply stayed in his house, behind locked doors, and let the police, who were on the way, handle the situation. If I remember correctly from reading the transcript of the 911 call, the dispatcher could hear the sirens before the gunshots went off. The police were seconds away. There was no need for Mike to go outside.

It is all so, terribly, terribly sad.


Tanya DeWitt 1 year, 6 months ago

I am amazed that you have the nerve to write such an article! I hope someone does telephone you about this post. No one has the right to take a life absolutely NO ONE! A person does have the right to defend themselves but what Voden did was cold blooded. The fact that he placed the value of his garden to be worth more than a life is sickening. How do you know what happened? You were not a physical witness. You stated you were in bed at the time of the incident and didn't witness the confrontation.
You describe Voden as frail if he is so frail then why did he ignore instructions to stay inside the house!? He must not have seen himself as frail old man since he left the safety of his home to confront your new neighbors. You keep referring to Randy as taller and younger like that is justification for murder. Seriously your neighbors of 2 days were trying to get their dog. Voden even tells them to get the "f"ing dog out of there. Voden even tells 911 "I got one" as if taking a life was no big deal. I personally hope Voden spends the rest of his days in jail, but that will not compare to the punishment he will receive from God. So stop bad mouthing the Burnett's. If Voden would have followed the instructions of the 911 operator you wouldn't feel the need to write your lies.


Rex Hinshaw 1 year, 6 months ago

Kim, I did not chastise don because I thought his comments were without merit. I disagreed with the way he directed his comments to her. Yes,everyone has a right to their opinion on this forum,but I think it was insensitive to her....after all she one of the victims of this tragedy as well. You and don seem to have chosen sides...I won't. Tanya, You're vitriol toward this woman is appaling. Your quote of Mr. Voden is a the transcripts.Your "linch mob"mentality does no one any good. And I would recommend restraint to the other contributors to this forum.


Tanya DeWitt 1 year, 6 months ago

Mr. Hinshaw I have listened to the 911 recording I listened to the last few minutes of my Uncle Randy's life. I have listened to it several times knowing my aunt was only a few feet away. The transcript quotes Voden telling Randy to get the "f"ing dog out of his yard right now. Then he tells randy to get up so from this description Randy is still not a threat then he says "I will" and then 4 gunshots. So please explain where I am lying. He also tells the dispatcher "it's too late now we got one down"

I don't have a lynch mob mentality but I want justice for my aunt and uncle. Patricia Rollins is lying to the public trying to act like a witness when she has already stated she was in bed at the time and didn't see the "confrontation". You are the one that should practice restraint with your lack of facts and defending Voden's actions you certainly seem to have picked a side.

Murder is murder so excuse me if my statements offend you, you do not seem to mind that your opinions have offended the real victims family!! I standby my statements because I listened to the 911 recording and maybe you should read the fact the 911 transcript was not an official court transcript it was made by the reporter.


Tanya DeWitt 1 year, 6 months ago

Also I will post my other comment to you so you can contunue to defend Voden's possessions and show your lack of repect for human life. However I am going to make sure Randy Burnett's character is acurately portrayed since Rollin's wants to speak her lies about someone she's never met......

Mr. Hinshaw I have been reading your comments for the last few days and you seriously need to learn the facts and maybe choose your words better. Voden was not in any danger and if you listen to the 911 tape you would know this. Kim's interpretation of your words "his garden meant too much to him" is exactly how many are interpreting them as Randy's life was less valuable then Vodens garden. In the actuall 911 recording Voden states the neighbors dog was in his yard. He knew where they came from and why they were in his yard. A good neighbor would have assisted but that is not what Voden did. Also if you listen to the 911 recording IF Voden was in any danger and Randy was attacking him you would be able to hear a scuffle and yelling. Instead all you can hear is Voden (who is suppose to be a peace loving man, a man that has also been known to carry a gun and has taken a gun to town council meetings quite a contradiction if you ask me) but all you can hear is Voden who disregarded instructions to stay in his house yelling to get the f#%*ing dog out of his yard and making threats to use his gun which you can hear 4 gun shots immediately following his demand to get the dog. I know for a fact that Randy who was awaken to help Brenda would never and did not attack Voden. Also I seen your comments on Rollins's article where she claims Voden was attacked and he acted in self defense. HOW DARE YOU scold any one for their comments when you still put the value of that garden above the life a human being. Also she was in bed at the time of the incident, a statement she gave to police and was published in the paper so her description of the incident is FALSE. Voden also changed his story from "people getting their dog" to "people yelling and then Randy charging at him with the dog swinging his fists". However Brenda was there and witnessed the cold hearted murder of the love of her life. So now because Voden valued his possessions more than a human life, my Aunt Brenda is robbed of the time she had left with my Uncle Randy a good man, a navy veteran, a man that took care of her due to her own failing health while he was battling cancer. A man that was so selfless that after he was told how much time he had left he started to make plans with my mom and uncles so my Aunt Brenda would not be alone when his time came to go be with God.


Rex Hinshaw 1 year, 6 months ago

Tanya, First let me say that I am sorry for your loss. My comment about you lying came from your quote..." I got one". That was not what he said. You are stating that Mrs.Rollings is do you know this? I am simply trying to say let the legal system sort it out. I am not a friend of Mr. Voden....I just know him. For you and don to attact her is not appropriate.


Tanya DeWitt 1 year, 6 months ago

Again I listened to the recording the transcript was written by the reporter it's not an official transcript. If she wants to print false information I will be right here to point it out. In her own words she stated she didn't see what happened she was in bed. (And before you get technical I am not going to go back to that article and quote it word for word) and in this article she is acting like an eye witness. Apparently you are the type of person that has nothing better to do then criticize other peoples opinions so I'm done wasting my time on you. Attacking Rollins for lying is nothing compared to what Voden did and what she tried to do by writing this article.


don evans 1 year, 5 months ago

I have attacked no one. I did ask questions that I thought were relevant in response to her public letter in the paper. Frankly, I think she and Mr. Voden would be much better served by NOT making public written statements that are subject to discovery and can and may be used in a criminal or civil future proceeding in this situation. Just an opinion, not an attack.


Meria Heller 1 year, 5 months ago

This is what a jury of peers will have to decide. Trial by newspaper doesn't help. It's a sad situation all the way around.


Rex Hinshaw 1 year, 5 months ago

Mr. Livengood, Where did you get the information that he was "waving his gun around" ? Hopefully that kind of evidence will come out in trial. You do not "gear up to throw punches" when confronted by someone with a firearm. You retreat and let the situation calm down if possible. I am not taking sides with Mr. Voden and his wife....I just want a fair trial...and it not be on the forum.


Kim Chittick 1 year, 5 months ago

Many of you seem to be forgetting...Mr. Burnette had pancreatic cancer, and had just been awakened to help his wife retrieve their dog from Voden's yard. Mr. Voden, as is clearly indicated on the tape transcript, knew that these people were his neighbors who had been in the home next door less than a couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, I believe I read that Mr. Burnette had only been in the new home less than 2 days.

I fail to see the need for Mr. Voden to have not only confronted Mr. Burnette (as Voden was aware that the Burnette's were trying to get their dog out of his yard) but to do so with a gun. So much grief would have been alleviated had Mr. Voden simply left the Burnette's to retrieve their dog. If Mr. Voden was so aggrieved that the Burnette's and their dog were in his yard, why did he not call the police and then stay inside until an Officer arrived.


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