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Batey's Trial Attorney Questions State's Request For New Sentencing Hearing

Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-14 19:30:11-04

Did Cory Batey get off easy in the Vanderbilt rape case? The prosecution has now demanded a new sentencing hearing claiming they didn't get a fair shake.

In an exclusive interview, Batey's attorney at trial, Courtney Teasley, has fired back.

She said 15 years is enough and added the District Attorney should leave it alone.

The state's argument has centered around eleven e-mails and letters saying nice things about Cory Batey, which were sent to the judge but not to the prosecutors.

In April, a jury found Batey guilty of raping an unconscious female student in a Vanderbilt dormitory.

Not long after that, Batey was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He could have faced up to 25.

"I think the state wants a harsher penalty," said Teasley. "Either the victim is not satisfied or they are not satisfied and they want to see 25 years."

Teasley's not handling his appeal, but she was there at Batey's sentencing.

Prosecutors have now asked to do the sentencing all over again because they were not made aware of or given a chance to rebut letters sent to Judge Monte Watkins on behalf of Batey.

"I didn't take it to mean that he had read those letters and it swayed him one way or another," said Teasley.

Teasley said the state better be careful what they ask for in seeking a harsher sentence. She pointed out that a new hearing could give the defense another chance to argue for a shorter sentence.

"If I was doing the sentencing hearing I would definitely argue that he was an especially mitigated offender, which means he could do less time. Yes, 13.5," said Teasley.

Peter Strianse has now been handling Batey's appeal. He filed a response to the state's request for a new sentencing hearing.

Strianse argued the judge acted correctly in reaching the sentence. And if the state wants to challenge the process, then prosecutors must file an appeal instead of a motion asking for a new hearing.

Judge Watkins will hear the motion and decide two things: first, whether there will be a new sentencing hearing, and second, whether he will stay on the case or pass it on to another judge.