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Vandenburg Chooses To Not Testify In Vandy Retrial

Posted at 10:04 AM, Jun 18, 2016

Early on the last day of the retrial before Brandon Vandenburg was found guilty on all counts, he chose to not testify in his defense in the alleged rape of an unconscious woman inside a Vanderbilt dorm.

The decision was announced Saturday morning in the sixth day of trial.

The former Vanderbilt football player has been accused of facilitating multiple rapes of the woman, who at the time was his girlfriend.

Before the jury was brought into the courtroom Saturday, attorneys argued about whether one of the first witnesses from earlier in the week, Julianna Martel, could be brought back to testify again, or if her testimony could be read back to the jury.

Martel testified she saw the victim the night of the alleged rape.

Prosecutors argued the Martel had already given her testimony and been released. They said they were unaware if she was still in Nashville. Defense attorneys said she was still under subpoena and should be found and brought back to court.

Judge Monty Watkins said the request was highly unusual, but agreed to have a court official make an attempt to locate Martel.

The jury was called into court at the start of the day, just to be told they would recess while Martel made her way back to court. The delay also gave Judge Watkins the opportunity to review her testimony and determine if could be re-examined.

The judge ultimately ruled the court transcript of Martel's testimony could be read. At that point, a court worker, defense attorney, prosecutor and the judge all stumbled through their parts of the court record. 

With Vandenburg not taking the stand, his defense attorneys spent about minutes reviewing Martel's testimony and then rested their case without calling any other witnesses.

 

 

Closing arguments began around 10:20 a.m. and went until noon, when the judge called for a lunch break. Defense attorneys continued their arguments around 1:15 p.m. with the prosecution following shortly thereafter.

 

 

Closing arguments officially ended just before 2:30 p.m. After a short, final break for the jury, which lasted around 15 minutes, everyone returned to the courtroom as the judge read the charges to the jury.

 

The jury was sent to deliberate just before 4 p.m. Saturday. As the clock neared 6:30 p.m. the jury was still working and stated they did not want to break for dinner.

 

 

A verdict was reached just before 8:30 p.m. Saturday with the jury finding Vandenburg guilty on all counts, including aggravated rape. (Read more on the guilty verdict by clicking here.)