Response Filed In Vanderbilt Rape Case - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Response Filed In Vanderbilt Rape Case

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Attorney John Herbison Attorney John Herbison

by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An attorney for Brandon Vandenburg filed a response to a motion made by the prosecution in the rape case against the former Vanderbilt University football player.

John Herbison filed the response Monday afternoon with the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk. The 30-page brief answered a motion by the District Attorney's office that California attorney Albert Perez, Jr. be removed from Vandenburg's legal team.

"We contend this is an attempt to manufacture an artificial conflict of interest, not factually supported and we are vigorously resisting the attempt to disqualify Mr. Perez," Herbison said.

The state contended in its motion that Perez was involved with count eight of the indictment against Vandenburg. That is the count that accused the former Vanderbilt student of tampering with evidence in the case.

"One of the things I put in my response is that Groucho Marx had panache enough to say, who are you going to believe, me or your eyes, your own eyes. Tom Thurman is no Groucho Marx," Herbison said.

The attorney insisted there is no evidence to support the claim that Vandenburg tampered with evidence, so it is not possible Perez was a co-conspirator in a crime that did not happen.

In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 5's Nick Beres in November, Perez responded to the state's allegations against him.

"I think they're ridiculous. You know, I think the government is steering it's sinking ship towards me, so it deflects on everything that's going on here," Perez said during the interview.

In his response, Herbison implied the state's motion to disqualify Perez had little substance.

"With apologies to the late Clara Peller of Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburger fame, where's the beef," the attorney wrote in his brief.

A judge will consider the motion and response on this issue during a hearing sometime early next year.


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