First retrial in Vanderbilt rape cases begins today
Nashville, Tenn. — The rape trial for former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey began on Monday in a Nashville courtroom.
Fourteen jurors were brought in from Chattanooga to hear the case.
On Monday, the first witness to take the stand was Julianna Martell, a friend of the alleged victim.
She told jurors the friend was acting “normal” on the night the incident reportedly happened.
Batey and Brandon Vandenburg were found guilty in 2014 on aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery charges.
Last week, Batey and Vandenburg’s cases were separated, leaving only Batey’s case going to trial this week.
In a hearing last Friday, Batey abruptly got up and left the courtroom during the proceedings, drawing the ire of Judge Monte Watkins.
Batey’s attorney Worrick Robinson initially said food poisoning was the reason Batey abruptly left, but later said it may also be the emotional toll this trial is taking on his client.
Batey also attempted to remove Robinson as his attorney on Friday, but Watkins would not allow it.