Jury for Vanderbilt rape retrial selected from Hamilton Co.; att - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Jury for Vanderbilt rape retrial selected from Hamilton Co.; attorneys face challenges

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A jury from Hamilton County has been selected for the rape retrial of a former Vanderbilt football player. 

The 10 men and four women will serve as the 12 member jury with two alternates. They'll be bused to Nashville on Sunday with the trial set to begin on Monday.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Jury seated for Vandy rape retrial 

Attorneys on both sides said it was a challenge finding a jury despite the jurisdiction being more than 130 miles away. 

It took a day and a half to find the jurors who will hear the aggravated rape case against Cory Batey. 

The retrial's location in Nashville and previous media coverage made the task tough for both sides. 

"You want a balance of people from all social aspects, every aspect. And that took away a huge majority," Defense attorney Worrick Robinson said. 

"When you start talking about taking people away for a week, there's going to be a lot of hardships, some real. Some not so real," Davidson County Deputy District Attorney Tom Thurman added. 

Jurors were questioned about their alcohol use, feelings toward sexual assault, even race. Topics defense attorney Courtney Teasley said are crucial in Batey's retrial. 

"I wanted them to be open and honest about any things that made them feel uncomfortable. Any things that they were scared of, any things that may make their flesh crawl. Any things that would keep them from being fair and impartial like, we need," Teasley added. 

The retrial was granted last year after a juror was found to be bias which is why this jury selection was so detailed. 

Jurors will stay in Nashville for the duration of the retrial which is expected to last 3-5 days. 

Batey and his attorneys will return to Nashville ahead of a status hearing Friday morning where final instructions will be given ahead of Monday's trial.

What happens next?

Cory Batey's retrial will start less than a week after Nashville Judge Monte Watkins severed the case from the one against co-defendant Brandon Vandenberg, who reported a medical issue with one of his attorneys. 

"We have a jury. It's a jury we agreed to. It's a jury the state agreed to and so we're going to go try our case now," Defense attorney Worrick Robinson said. 

Despite only having days to prepare, Defense attorney Courtney Teasley said they will present a different case compared to the first trial. 

"We would loved to have had the time to have a whole totally different strategy, but it's going to be a different case and it's going to have a totally different spin on it. A totally different defense," she added. 

But Tom Thurman, Deputy District Attorney for Davidson County said the last minute change doesn't have much of an impact on the prosecution. 

"It's no different for us. It's the same. A few things will be tweaked about some things that might not come in that would have come in in a joint trial and other things that could come in now that couldn't come in a joint trial, but it's not going to be substantial," he added. 

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