Chattanooga jury will hear Vanderbilt rape case involving ex-football players

Cory Batey Vanderbilt rape case, Brandon Vandenburg
From Left: Cory Batey, Brandon Vandenburg. (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A jury from Chattanooga will hear the next Vanderbilt University football rape case.

The decision was announced Friday during a brief status hearing for former football players Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey.

Attorneys argued for a change of venue because of the publicity the case has received since 2013.

The jury selection will be done in Chattanooga and the jurors will be bused to Nashville for the trial.

Court administrator Tim Townsend said Hamilton County will provide a pool of 120 people. Selection for the 12 jurors and five alternates will begin Nov. 16.

The jurors will be sequestered at an undisclosed local hotel. Davidson County will be responsible for housing and feeding the jurors.

“It is usually done in capital murder cases,” Prosecutor Tom Thurman said. “This is a new thing. We have never had a case that we have had to retry that was covered on TV live here.”

Defense attorneys for Vandenburg and Batey requested the change in a motion.

“This is a very important step in making sure my client gets a trial by a fair and impartial jury,” Vandenburg’s attorney Randy Reagan said. “It was something we felt needed to be done given the immense publicity surrounding this case in Nashville/Davidson County.”

Batey’s attorney said he will take more time during jury selection to make sure to vet all the potential jurors.

“I have some concerns and I think we will spend a lot more time during the voir dire process trying to vet the individuals on what they have heard about this case,” he said. “I have concerns with a lot of the media. Plus, he testified the last time and that was covered.”

The case is supposed to go back to trial on Nov. 30.

Batey and Vandenburg are both free on bond after Judge Monte Watkins declared a mistrial in June .

Neither Batey nor Vandenburg appeared in court Friday for the brief hearing.

Two other ex-Vanderbilt football players, Brandon Banks and Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie also face charges in the case.

Click here for complete coverage of the Vanderbilt rape case. 

 

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