Legal analyst weighs in on Cory Batey retrial

Rob McGuire
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – News 2 spoke with a legal analyst Saturday who weighed in on the Vanderbilt rape case.

In the retrial of former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey, jurors found him guilty of seven total counts, but only one count of the most severe charge: aggravated rape.

Batey had faced five aggravated rape and two aggravated sexual battery charges for the rape of an unconscious female Vanderbilt student in June 2013.

In the retrial, prosecutors were not able to convince the jurors that Batey was guilty on all five counts of aggravated rape, which he had been found guilty of in his first trial.

It was declared a mistrial when it was revealed that one of the jurors had not disclosed being the victim of a sex crime.

Legal analyst and former Assistant District Attorney Rob McGuire spoke to News 2 about the case, which he was not a part of.

“Mr. Batey and Mr. [Brandon] Vandenburg were tried separately this time, so the jury was simply focused on Mr. Batey,” explained McGuire. “In this trial, the defense said Batey was a puppet and Vandenburg was the person calling the tune.”

McGuire went on to say that this worked in Batey’s favor and was a likely explanation of why the jury convicted him of lesser charges than in his first trial.

MORE: Complete coverage of Vanderbilt rape case

Batey’s former football teammate Brandon Vandenburg is also accused of raping an unconscious female student. However, his trial has been delayed because one of his attorneys is ill. Vandenburg’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 13.

Despite Batey’s conviction on lesser charges than what the prosecution wanted, Assistant District Attorney Tom Thurman said on Friday night after the verdict that he and the other prosecutors were happy with the outcome of the trial.

“Obviously, we are pleased with the guilty verdict. Justice has been done,” said Thurman.

Batey’s defense attorney Courtney Teasley was asked what she said to Batey before he was taken to jail.

“My words to him are to stay strong and ultimately God has the final say in this. His faith is strong and we had a mistrial the first time,” she said.

On Saturday, a spokeswoman with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office told News 2 that Batey was being housed alone and was on a 72-hour suicide watch. She said this was standard practice in high profile cases.

The aggravated rape charge alone carries a minimum 15-year sentence without parole.

Judge Monte Watkins will decide Batey’s full sentence on May 20.

McGuire told News 2, “It’s going to be a significant sentence. Judge Watkins is going to look at the conduct in this case. It’s shocking, it’s callous, it’s terrible and he’s going to sentence him accordingly.”

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