State asks court to deny motion for mistrial in Vanderbilt rape case

Verdict being read - Cory Batey, Brandon Vandenburg
Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg as the verdict was read. (Jan. 27, 2015)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Davidson County District Attorney’s office has requested that a motion for mistrial in the Vanderbilt University rape case be denied, according to a brief filed Wednesday.

On Thursday, Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins unsealed the filing, releasing it to the public.

Click here to read the state’s filing

In May, defense teams for Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg filed motions for a mistrial due to questions regarding jury foreman Todd Easter. The mistrial motions and the State’s newly filed brief will be considered during a hearing on June 15 in Judge Watkins’ court. Easter is expected to testify at the Monday hearing.

In January, Batey and Vandenburg were convicted of raping a Vanderbilt student. Their defense teams allege Easter misrepresented himself during jury selection in the case by not disclosing that he had been a victim of statutory rape in Sumner County in 2000.

An attorney for the foreman previously denied the claims against his client.

Defense attorneys allege that Easter, as a victim of a sex crime, was biased and not able to fairly serve as a juror in the Vanderbilt case.

In its recent filing the State wrote that it expects Easter’s testimony “will be that the relationship from 2000 at issue was wholly consensual in his mind, therefore, he never considered himself a victim of a crime.”

The District Attorney’s office argues that because Easter did not see himself as a victim of a sex crime, he was not biased as a juror in the Vanderbilt rape case.

The filing also says, “Easter will explain that his parents initiated and participated in the prosecution of the statutory rape.  He was never called as a witness in a court proceeding and cannot specifically recall attending any of the court proceedings.”

Click here for complete coverage of the Vanderbilt University rape case.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s