Previous coverage from the sex crime investigation involving former Vanderbilt University football players. More >>
Previous coverage from the sex crime investigation involving former Vanderbilt University football players.More >>
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
Lawyers for Brandon Vandenburg, the former Vanderbilt football player charged with rape, returned to court Tuesday to answer accusations that one of the defense attorneys in the case helped destroy evidence.
Vandenburg has a team of lawyers, and one of them is Albert Perez Jr. from California.
Last Friday, Deputy District Attorney General Tom Thurman filed a motion saying Perez should not be allowed to represent Vandenburg anymore because he is an unindicted co-conspirator.
Thurman says two of the California defendants in the case will agree to testify that Perez helped destroy evidence.
Vandenburg's lawyers said Tuesday the allegations don't hold water.
"If they are making assertions of misconduct, let them come into this courtroom, hold up their right hands and swear to tell the truth and submit to the ritual of cross-examination," said John Herbison, an attorney for Vandenburg.
"Why those two young boys would say something like that, I don't know. I really don't know. They're criminals. And why they said things like that to get out of an indictment," said Perez.
The two whom Perez is talking about are the two California friends of Vandenburg - Miles Finley and Joseph Quinzio. Vandenburg is accused of sending video and pictures of the alleged rape to them.
They have agreed to testify in this case.
"As far as the motion we filed on Friday, that's not a motion we filed lightly. This is the first one I've ever filed in 37 years as a prosecutor," Thurman said.
It's not spelled out what evidence Finley and Quinzio say Perez tampered with, and Thurman won't speculate about possible criminal charges against Perez.
"That's still an active investigation, so I can't really comment," Thurman said.
The defense team is asking to have a hearing on the evidence, but the judge didn't rule on that Tuesday.
The judge told the defense attorneys he was unlikely going to give them any more time to prepare for the trial, which is now scheduled for August 2014.
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