'Blue Light Rapist' Seeks Parole from Life-Plus Term

SEPTEMBER 19, 2006 - Posted at 11:20 a.m. CDT

NEWPORT, AR - A man who used a blue police-style light to pull over female drivers so he could rape them wants the state parole board to cut his prison term from life-plus-40 years to much less.

Robert Todd Burmingham, 40, has served eight years after being convicted as Arkansas' "blue light rapist."  One of his victims, who was 17 at the time of her assault, fears Burmingham will come after her because she testified against him.

Shannon Woods says she believes Burmingham will hunt her down if he is released.

Genetic evidence tied Burmingham to Woods' assault.

According to prosecutors, Burmingham used a blue light mounted on the dashboard of his car to deceive female motorists, then attacked them after they pulled over to the side of the road.

Burmingham, of the Pine Tree community in St. Francis County, was convicted in separate cases and received a total sentence of life plus 40 years, with 40 years for other offenses to run concurrently.  He is currently incarcerated in Newport at the Grimes Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

The state Parole Board will decide in December whether Burmingham should have a hearing.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)