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Judge Denies Attorneys' Motion To Dismiss Case Against Vandenburg

Posted at 8:29 AM, Jun 13, 2016

NewsChannel 5 will have Gavel-to-Gavel coverage starting at 9 a.m. on NewsChannel 5 Plus and online

A judge has denied a motion filed by attorneys to dismiss the case against Brandon Vandenburg based on double jeopardy.  

Day one of the retrial was defined by heated arguments, graphic testimony and long delays as Brandon Vandenburg went before a jury of his peers for the second time in his life.

Vandenburg, 22, had not been inside Davidson County Court since last year when a judge dismissed his rape conviction following revelations a juror lied under oath about being the victim of rape.

Opening statements in the high profile rape case were scheduled to begin at 9a.m. Monday, but before the jury could be brought in lawyers quickly attacked one another over the defense's request to bring in an expert to testify about Vandenburg's level of intoxication level when the rape occurred.

"Judge I object to him interrupting me before I'm finished!" Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore said on the verge of yelling after defense attorney Randall Reagan interrupted him.

The judge ruled the defense would not be allowed to call their expert witness during the trial.

At 10:17a.m. the jury of nine women and five men from Memphis were sworn in - less than 20 minutes later defense attorney dropped a bombshell, a lengthy motion to dismiss the case on the ground of double jeopardy.

"We should never be in this position we are in today. The state got greedy and state has blown it. This court must dismiss this case," defense attorney Troy Bowlin said.

"A declaration of mistrial does not terminate jeopardy," he argued.

Prosecutors, who admitted to being prepared for the motion, quickly filed back. "He is not being placed twice in jeopardy," Roger Moore said.

Judge Monte Watkins though did not find enough merit in the argument to dismiss the case and opening arguments began.

As they have done two times before, prosecutors stood before the jury and laid out the case they will make over the next week. First telling the jury about the night in June of 2013 when the victim and Brandon Vandenburg went to Tin Roof in Midtown Nashville. Prosecutors said the victim was handed a blue drink by the former Vanderbilt football player and then blacked out.

They also described video evidence which investigators found showing the unconscious female student being raped inside of room 213 in Gillette Hall.

"He (Vandenburg) not only violated the laws of Tennessee but the laws of human decency," Assistant District Attorney Tom Thurman said.

Defense attorney fired back, laying the ground work for the argument they will likely make, that Brandon Vandenburg fell victim to a culture of drinking on promiscuity after arrive at Vanderbilt University his freshman year.

"Vandenburg didn't know that even though he was over six-feet six-inches tall, he was in over his head," Randall Reagan told the jury.

The victim was not in the courtroom for opening arguments. 

A jury from Memphis has been brought to Nashville to decide whether he raped an unconscious student in a dorm room three years ago.  

Co-defendent Cory Batey was found guilty on multiple counts just two months ago. 

Both men were found guilty on all counts last year, but Judge Monte Watkins declared a mistrial after a juror revealed he had lied about being a former victim of sexual assault.

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