Remaining Defendants In Vanderbilt Rape Case Called To Appear In Court

Tip McKenzie and Brandon Banks To Go To Court
Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 20:06:19-04

The two remaining defendants in the Vanderbilt rape case have been called into court later this month, and there's talk of a possible plea deal. 

The request came after the aggravated rape convictions of Cory Batey and then Brandon Vandenburg.

For three years now,  Brandon Banks and Jaborian Tip McKenzie have been free on bond.

They are co-defendants with Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey for the aggravated rape of an unconscious female student in a Vanderbilt dormitory back in 2013.

Since then, first Batey and then Vandenburg stood trial. McKenzie testified for the prosecution. The jury convicted first Batey and then Vandenburg.

Judge Monte Watkins sentenced Batey to 15 years. Vandenburg will learn his fate September 30, and rumor has circulated that both Banks and McKenzie will be there at his sentencing.

There's a chance prosecutors will announce plea deals for the two at that time.

"I imagine they've already had discussions with the other co-defendants," said NewsChannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo who doubts there will be two more trials.

Lead prosecutor Tom Thurman has retired. It's hard to imagine the victim being called to testify again, even if she's willing.

Leonardo said a plea deal will likely include jail time, but much less than Batey and Vandenburg, who must serve the majority of their sentences.

"Any sort of offer that would make them eligible of parole after serving 30 percent of their sentence is something the defendants would have to take a serious look at," said Leonardo.

Prosecutors typically do not comment on plea negotiations.

If an when a deal is announced Leonardo thought the deals will also require that Banks and McKenzie go on the sex offender registry.