HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — The man accused of installing a hidden camera in his neighbor's home appeared before a judge on Tuesday. The judge wants Brian Burnette back in court next week.
Burnette, 48, is out of jail after he posted a $5,000 bond when he was arrested last week. He's charged with invasive visual recording, a felony.
As he was walking into the courthouse, he didn't comment when asked if he had anything to say about the charge. His attorney did have something to say.
"My client is innocent. I intend to prove it," attorney Penny Wymyczak White said.
A woman living at a townhome on Strack Road in north Harris County said she found several holes in the ceiling of her townhome bathroom in November.
According to investigators, she told a friend about the holes and he went into the attic and found a camera with a power supply on the floor directly over the bathroom. He also found an SD card in the camera. When he put the card in his phone, there were multiple videos of the woman taking a shower, according to court records.
Burnette is accused of knocking down the drywall that separates the two attics. According to the court documents, the camera was wedged into a hole in the attic floor directly over the bathroom.
Court documents said at least three files were found on the SD card, including a two-minute video of the woman naked in the shower. There was also a video of a naked man in a different bathroom and a third video of the camera as it was being installed. The third video did not show who installed the camera. Officials said it appeared as if about 20 files had already been exported off the SD card.
Heated exchange in court
As part of his bond conditions, Burnette was barred from returning to his home. That condition led to a heated exchange between him and the judge last Friday during probably cause court when Burnette argued that his neighbor had already moved out. Shortly after the argument, the judge had Burnette removed from the courtroom.
On Tuesday, Burnette's attorney asked the judge to remove the restriction, which he did despite prosecutors arguing that while the victim had moved out, another woman is set to move into the townhome next month and repairs to the attic have yet to be made.
"Everyone should feel safe and, in fact, be safe and feel comfortable in their home. And any cases like this -- not just this one specifically -- where there are concerns someone is not safe and their home is not private is always incredibly concerning," Harris County District Attorney's Office prosecutor John Hyde said.
Burnette is also barred from contacting the victim in the case.
Hyde said the DA's Office will dig into the videos they have obtained from investigators. He also said the judge wants another update on the damaged attic situation.