Day-by-day summary of retrial for Brandon Vandenburg - WSMV News 4

Day-by-day summary of retrial for Brandon Vandenburg

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Opening statements began Monday morning in the retrial for Brandon Vandenburg. (WSMV) Opening statements began Monday morning in the retrial for Brandon Vandenburg. (WSMV)

Brandon Vandenburg is one of four former Vanderbilt University football players charged in the rape of an unconscious female student in June 2013.

Vandenburg and Cory Batey were found guilty during a trial in January 2015. Judge Monte Watkins later declared a mistrial after discovering the jury foreman did not disclose he was a victim of statutory rape.

Vandenburg's and Batey's cases were severed, and Batey was found guilty of one count of aggravated rape and other lesser charges during his retrial in April 2016.

Vandenburg is charged with five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of unlawful photography.

The jury for Vandenburg's retrial was selected in Memphis. They will be sequestered for the entire trial.

The two other defendants, Brandon Banks and Jaborian McKenzie, have not yet been tried.


The state and defense deliver their opening statements.

The defense claims it was Brandon Vandenburg’s teammates - co-defendants Cory Batey, Jaborian McKenzie and Brandon Banks - who had other plans when he asked them to help carry the woman to his dorm room. 

The state is aiming to prove that Vandenburg was no innocent bystander and is just as guilty.

The calls two witnesses to the stand. The first was Julianna Martel, who was on the dance team with the alleged victim and was also at Tin Roof with Vandenburg and the woman on the night of the incident.

Jurors also heard from Capt. Donnie Harville with the Vanderbilt University Police Department, whose testimony went on for several hours. Harville said he was going through surveillance video while investigating a vandalism at Gillette Hall when he saw footage of Vandenburg and three others carrying an unconscious woman in the hallway.

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Jurors got to hear Brandon Vandenburg’s voice for the first time through audio recordings on Tuesday.

One of those recordings was from an interview between Vandenburg and Vanderbilt University officials.

Another was an interview between Vandenburg and detectives with the Vanderbilt University Police Department.

In both interviews, Vandenburg denies having sexual contact with the woman.

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Jurors heard and saw graphic evidence in the third day of the retrial.

The state played the recording of an interview conducted by Metro Nashville detectives with Brandon Vandenburg several days after the alleged assault.

The jury also saw graphic photos and videos of the alleged rape that happened inside a dorm room on the Vanderbilt University campus.

Detective Chad Gish, the investigator who recovered the evidence that was deleted, described the contents of each photo and video to the jury. Gish also read text messages that were sent between Vandenburg and his friends in California.

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On Thursday, Detective Chad Gish read the text messages Brandon Vandenburg sent to the alleged victim in the days after the incident, revealing how Vandenburg allegedly tried to deceive her.

"This is all so messed up. Like I didn’t do anything and I feel like I’m getting blamed for stuff that didn’t even happen. I just want to cry," said Vandenburg in a text on June 25, 2013.

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For the first time, the jury heard from one of the former athletes who was in the room at the time of the rape, and he explained what he heard and saw.

Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie is also charged in the case. He says he never touched the victim but admits to being in the room at the time and taking photos.

Attorneys called it a perfect storm the way the young men met. They didn’t know Vandenburg or the victim but ran into him outside of Gillette Hall after leaving a restaurant.

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Jurors heard from Brandon Vandenburg's roommate, Mack Prioleau, who was inside dorm room during the time of the alleged assault. He said he could hear sexual noises and saw a woman lying on the floor.

The state also called Vandenburg's former teammate, Dillon Van der Wal, to the stand. He saw the woman in the hallway after the incident.

Both Prioleau and Van der Wal admitted they did not report what they saw to authorities.

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The victim took the stand for the third time on Friday afternoon. She testified in the first trial, Cory Batey's retrial, and now, Vandenburg's retrial.

The woman maintains she does not remember anything after she drank a blue drink that Vandenburg handed to her at Tin Roof.

She said she woke up in a strange dorm room the next morning and felt sicker and sicker as the day went on.

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Before court started on Saturday morning, Judge Monte Watkins denied the defense's motion to dismiss the charges against Brandon Vandenburg for lack of evidence.

The defense then announced that Vandenburg would not testify in his own defense.

The defense told the court they had one witness, Julianna Martel, that they would like to call as a witness. However, she had left town after a jury-out testimony on Monday.

The defense wanted to read her testimony into the record since she did testify under oath. Watkins wanted to reach out to her to call her to court to testify.

After reading the transcripts while during a recess waiting for Martel to arrive, the judge decided that the testimony from earlier could be read into the record.

In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman asserted that intoxication was not a defense.

Albert Perez delivered the closing argument for the defense.

He asserted that intoxication should be considered as a defense and hammered on what the defense perceived as discrepancies in the testimony of some witnesses.

About 3:45, the jury received the instructions from Watkins and went back to begin deliberations.

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