NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of two former Vanderbilt University football players charged with raping an unconscious female student at the school during the summer of 2013.
Much of what was heard in court laid the foundation for critical moments that will come later in the trial.
Vanderbilt police Lt. Donnie Harville spent the morning on the stand describing the actions of defendants Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey as shown on surveillance video from the Gillette House dormitory on Vanderbilt’s campus.
The two, alongside two other ex-players, are accused of raping Vandenburg’s then-girlfriend in Vandenburg’s room at the Gillette House during the early morning hours of June 23, 2013.
The surveillance video shows the group arriving to the dorm and as they enter and exit the room.
Lt. Harville described what was being shown as the jury viewed the video. The video was not visible to the media.
Lt. Harville also testified that at one point Vandenburg put a towel over one of the surveillance cameras.
Also in court on Wednesday, Vandenburg’s attorney Worrick Robinson requested that a racial remark allegedly said by one of the defendants be stricken from record.
Judge Monte Watkins agreed to the request saying he would tell the jury to ignore the remark.
He also said he would allow the testimony from another former football player Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who is also charged in the crime.
Vandenburg and Batey’s defense argued Wednesday the prosecution did not properly put McKenzie on the witness list.
Prosecutors have indicated in court that McKenzie will testify that Batey urinated on the victim, something argued about in court. The defense does not think the jury should be allowed to hear that testimony.
The judge said he would rule on the matter if and when it comes up.
And late Wednesday afternoon, defense attorneys filed a court document that formalized their long-held belief in this case that prosecutors did not give sufficient notice in the indictment of the exact aggravated rape charges against their clients.
Its likely the defense attorneys wanted the legal document in the record so it might one day be used as grounds for a potential dismissal of charges.
Vandenburg, Batey and McKenzie are charged alongside Brandon Banks with five counts each of aggravated rape and two counts each of aggravated sexual battery for the rape.
Vandenburg is additionally charged with one count of tampering with evidence and one count of unlawful photography.
The trial resumes Thursday at 9 a.m.