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Brandon Vandenburg Headed To Court In California

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Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-08 04:38:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - New twists in the Vanderbilt rape case. One of the defendants, Brandon Vandenburg, is heading to court in California.

The possibility of a plea deal before the rape case goes to trial here in Nashville will hinge on a magic number and whether anyone will agree to it.

Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey walked out of the Davidson County jail this past June. Their convictions were tossed out in the Vanderbilt rape case because a juror lied. Both will return to Nashville on November 30th.

"I expect this case to go to trial," said District Attorney Glenn Funk not long after the judge made the ruling this past spring.

Funk said he still intends to prosecute both defendants again.

At the time, lawyers for Batey and Vandenburg weren't so sure when they spoke in June.

"I can't imagine anybody really and truly wanting to try this case again," said Batey's attorney Worrick Robinson.

"If any plea is made we are obligated to talk to our client about those. Of course, it depends on what type of plea offer is made," said Vandenburg's attorney Troy Bowlin.

No one will talk publicly about any backroom deals. But those close to the case tell Newschannel 5 that the magic number is 15 years.

It is believed the district attorney likely won't offer less time served. It's unlikely Vandenburg and Batey would accept any more time. For now there is no indication any offer has even been discussed.

The trial is set for November but first Vandenburg has an issue in California. He still faces a misdemeanor battery charge his lawyers had hoped to have dismissed.

Vandenburg is accused of roughing up a middle school security guard back in 2014. The case was set for trial this month but is now delayed until October.

Whatever happens, it is now expected to have am impact on the rape case in Nashville. For now defense attorneys are working to prepare for the new trial.

"I don't think anybody would ever try a case the same exact way twice. So for us, we'd like the opportunity to review the transcript, have the opportunity to see what we need to tweak," said Robinson in June.

That tweaking could mean a new strategic approach with hopes for a different outcome other than convictions for aggravated rape.

As for prosecutors, the evidence, including the disturbing videos, remains the same and it's evidence which led to guilty verdicts the first time around.