Woman convicted of slashing Reynolds professor; details emerge in court

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 06, 2018

HENRICO, Va. -- A Henrico judge found 25-year-old Brittany Burfield guilty of unlawful wounding after she entered an Alford plea related to her arrest for slashing a Reynolds Community College professor in his office with a box cutter on Feb. 23, 2017.

The then 68-year-old professor had to get dozens of stitches for his wounds. Burfield faces up to five years in jail at her sentencing hearing set on April 27th at 11 a.m.

Burfield declined to comment other than to tell a reporter to "have a wonderful day."

The professor that was attacked told CBS 6 Reporter Melissa Hipolit that  he had nothing to say related to Burfield's plea.

Prosecutors did tell the judge he is now suffering from PTSD post-attack and has ongoing vision problems related to the stabbing.

They argue that nearly two years after Burfield was a student in his introductory psychology class, she showed up to his office and slammed the door. They had not spoken in a year, according to prosecutors.

She then allegedly said "stop messing with my thoughts, you need to get out of my head," before she started slashing him in the face, head and neck with the box cutter.

Prosecutors said he was bleeding profusely and in and out of consciousness.

They said a witness in an office next door heard the professor call Burfield a "bitch," and Burfield call the profesor a "rapist."

Prosecutors said two other witnesses overheard Burfield say as she attempted to leave the building "it's over, it's done with, he's a rapist," and "he's in my head, he raped me, I have to go."

They told the judge all email communications reviewed between the professor and Burfield were related to missing class and making up a test, and requesting advice on her major.

Brittany Burfield (PHOTO: Va. State Police)

Prosecutors said that one time Burfield visited the professor at his office and handed him a note and then began to cry and ran out.

The professor then sent her an email saying he was there to help: "I'm here to serve, if you need my help just ask."

The defense countered the prosecution's narrative and said that on the day of the incident Burfield went to speak with the professor about a job opportunity and when she gave the professor a hug he touched her butt. They said Burfield became scared, and then he grabbed her and prevented her from leaving.

Her defense attorney said that's when she grabbed the box cutter that she had from her job working for the Virginia ABC, and stabbed him to free herself.

The defense attorney said a witness said Burfield stated: "You've got to let me go, he's a rapist, his smell is all over me."

Burfield's attorney then told the judge Burfield suffered an non-reported rape in high school where she was raped from behind and there was a mirror she was able to see the experience happening in.

She said the experience in the professor's office, while not a rape, reminded her of that incident.

Burfield cried while her attorney told this story.

Burfield's attorney then talked about how Reynolds Community College ultimately reprimanded the professor for inappropriate touching of students, and that multiple students reported the professor made them feel uncomfortable by touching them or making inappropriate sexual comments.

The defense attorney said a May 19th Title 9 investigation at the school into the professor found sufficient evidence based on information from several students that the professor engaged in inappropriate behavior with students, including unwelcome touching and inappropriate sexual comments. The professor retired in the summer of 2017, according to Reynolds.

The judge had no objection to Burfield remaining out on bond under the same conditions she was already assigned.



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