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  1. #1
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    Brandon Banks - Trial/Deliberations/Guilty - Nashville, TN

    Remaining Defendants In Vanderbilt Rape Case Called To Appear In Court

    Tip McKenzie and Brandon Banks To Go To Court


    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] - 4:47 PM, Sep 1, 2016

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The two remaining defendants in the Vanderbilt rape case have been called into court later this month, and there's talk of a possible plea deal.

    The request came after the aggravated rape convictions of Cory Batey and then Brandon Vandenburg.

    For three years now, Brandon Banks and Jaborian Tip McKenzie have been free on bond.

    They are co-defendants with Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey for the aggravated rape of an unconscious female student in a Vanderbilt dormitory back in 2013.

    Since then, first Batey and then Vandenburg stood trial. McKenzie testified for the prosecution. The jury convicted first Batey and then Vandenburg.

    Judge Monte Watkins sentenced Batey to 15 years. Vandenburg will learn his fate September 30, and rumor has circulated that both Banks and McKenzie will be there at his sentencing.

    There's a chance prosecutors will announce plea deals for the two at that time.

    SNIP

    Leonardo said a plea deal will likely include jail time, but much less than Batey and Vandenburg, who must serve the majority of their sentences.

    "Any sort of offer that would make them eligible of parole after serving 30 percent of their sentence is something the defendants would have to take a serious look at," said Leonardo.

    Prosecutors typically do not comment on plea negotiations.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Last edited by Aubrey; 09-01-2016 at 11:36 PM.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  2. #2
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Lawyer: 'Working on' deals in Vanderbilt rape case

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] 5:56 p.m. CDT September 8, 2016

    For more than three years, rape cases against two former Vanderbilt University football players have been essentially on hold while two other ex-players, Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg, have gone to trial.

    With Vandenburg's sentencing hearing in the case coming up at the end of September, attentions are turning to the pending cases against Brandon E. Banks and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie.

    Plea deals are in the works to avoid more trials. But that negotiation process will likely take months.

    "We’re working on it," [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], Banks' lawyer, told The Tennessean on Thursday. "I’ve been in contact with the DA’s Office and we’re working on it. We’re hoping to be able to resolve it."

    Banks will not attend the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], Scruggs said. The defense lawyer said Banks' trial could take place next year if negotiations are not successful. Banks and McKenzie, both 22, also face rape charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

    Prosecutors would not discuss the negotiations. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], McKenzie's lawyer, did not return a request for comment.


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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Administrator sunny47's Avatar
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    Jen's Trial Diaries ‏@TrialDiariesJ

    3rd Trial Sought In #Vandy Rape Case

    ________________________________

    3rd Trial Sought In Vandy Rape Case


    Posted: 4:43 PM, Nov 9, 2016

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    The Distric Attorney's office said they will seek a third Vanderbilt Rape trial for Brandon Banks.

    Officials with Glenn Funk's office confirmed that the trial is expected to be held next June, but a final decision will be made Thursday.

    Felony charges against Banks have been pending throughout the two trials against Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey.

    Batey was sentenced to 15 years and Vandenburg was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Vandenburg was considered the ringleader, though he didn't commit the sexual acts. He was dating the victim.

  4. #4
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Brandon Banks set to go to trial in Vanderbilt rape case next June

    WKRN web staff Published: November 10, 2016, 9:44 am

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The third ex-Vanderbilt football player accused in the high-profile on-campus rape case will go to trial next June.

    Brandon Banks is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery alongside three of his three former teammates.

    Two of those players, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, have since been convicted of the crime.

    Banks will now head to trial on June 19, 2017, nearly four years after the alleged rape.

    News 2 has learned that Banks previously refused to take an eight-year plea deal.

    The fourth former player accused in the case, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, has not yet gone to trial and it’s not yet known if he will.


    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    Ugh, it's shameful that the victim will have to go through another trial!! IMO, Banks should have taken the plea deal of 8 years. If McKenzie's smart if he's offered the same deal he should take it.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Judge sets trial date for Brandon Banks in Vanderbilt rape case

    Wednesday, November 9th 2016, 2:48 pm PSTThursday, November 10th 2016, 7:29 am PST

    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The judge has set a trial date for the third co-defendant in the Vanderbilt rape case, Brandon Banks.

    Banks, a former Vanderbilt football player, will go to trial on June 19, 2017. A status hearing has been scheduled for June 16.

    Banks is charged with multiple counts of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery.

    SNIP

    The fourth co-defendant, Jaborian McKenzie, has pleaded not guilty. His case is still pending.


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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  6. #6
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    Third player in Vanderbilt rape case headed to trial

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee 12:39 p.m. CT May 4, 2017

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], one of four men charged in the rape of an unconscious woman at Vanderbilt University nearly four years ago, was in court Thursday for a motions hearing, further signaling his case is heading toward trial instead of a plea deal.

    Banks, 23, and his lawyer, Mark Scruggs, are arguing that some case evidence should not be used against him in trial. Though a plea agreement could be reached at anytime, the motions indicate ongoing preparation for the trial. That's set for June 19.

    Thursday's hearing was the first time in years Banks has appeared in court for the case.

    Banks' case, as well as that against co-defendant Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, have been tracking along in the background.

    Following the pair of convictions, plea negotiations to resolve Banks' case began.

    McKenzie has testified against his former teammates in hopes of leniency in his own case. It is likely he will do the same against Banks, who he's previously described as a friend so close, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    On Thursday, Banks' lawyer argued that Nashville police illegally searched Banks' cellphone and that evidence seized from it should not be used during his trial.

    Scruggs called Nashville Detective Jason Mayo, the lead investigator, to the witness stand. Mayo said he seized Banks' cellphone on June 27, 2013, the day before he obtained a search warrant for Banks' dorm room.

    Scruggs argued that the warrant from the next day did not specify the phone could be searched, and said Banks never consented to a search.

    "The search warrant makes no particular mention of this phone," Scruggs argued. "They didn't include it in there. ... It's an error is what it is."

    Assistant District Attorney General [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] argued that Banks had consented to a search of the cellphone, noting that his lawyer at the time - Grover Collins - gave police two passcodes to access the iPhone. Scruggs said the lawyer could not grant Banks' consent.

    Eventually, police bypassed the passcode lock anyway, and used another method to search the phone.

    After an about hour-long hearing Thursday, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] said he will issue a ruling as soon as possible.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Administrator sunny47's Avatar
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    Third former Vanderbilt player appears headed for rape trial
    Posted: May 05, 2017 8:56 AM CDT
    Updated: May 05, 2017 8:57 AM CDT

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    A third former Vanderbilt football player appears to be headed toward being tried on rape charges.
    The Tennessean reports ([Only registered and activated users can see links. ] ) that motions filed in the case indicate an attorney for Brandon Banks is preparing to go to trial, instead of a plea deal.
    Banks, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, is set to be tried in June.

    In all, four former Vandy players were accused in the rape of an unconscious female student in a dorm in June of 2013.
    Two of the former players, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, have already been tried and convicted. Vandenburg was sentenced to 17 years in prison and Batey received 15 years.
    Former player Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie testified against both Vandenburg and Batey, presumably because he wanted to cut a deal.

  8. #8
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Trial Set For Ex-Vandy Player In Rape Case

    1:38 PM, Jun 9, 2017

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A trial has been set for one of the remaining defendants in the Vanderbilt rape case.

    A hearing was held Friday for Brandon Banks and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie. Neither appeared in court.

    Banks is expected to go to trial within the next two weeks – possibly June 19. However, an official date has yet to be set.

    It’s unclear when McKenzie would go to trial.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Well this is a whole bunch of "tell us something we don't already know"!
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  9. #9
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Nearly 4 years since rape at Vanderbilt, third football player to stand trial Monday

    Tennessee 10:00 p.m. CT June 13, 2017

    The day after one of his former Vanderbilt Commodores teammates walked into a Tennessee prison to start a 17-year sentence, Brandon E. Banks jogged onto a football field.

    Banks, now 23, has largely been out of the public eye as two of his former football teammates went to trial — and were convicted — in the June 2013 gang rape of an unconscious female student.

    Instead, while his own charges in the case were pending, the Maryland native moved to Jackson, Tenn., where he played two seasons as a defensive back for the Lane College Dragons.

    Now, a Nashville jury will decide whether Banks returns to the field for his senior season.

    Banks' trial on aggravated rape and other charges begins Monday, nearly four years to the day after the rape that rocked Vanderbilt University.

    SNIP

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] also was charged in the case, has pleaded not guilty and has testified against his former teammates in each trial. He's expected to return and testify against Banks, a man [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    Banks has pleaded not guilty. He is represented by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who has been a lawyer in Tennessee for more than three decades.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Brandon E. Banks pretrial hearing on Friday, June 16, 2017, trial begins on Monday, June 19th.
    Last edited by Aubrey; 06-14-2017 at 12:37 PM.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  10. #10
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    A deaf dog and dental emergencies: Why potential jurors were dismissed from Vanderbilt rape trial

    Published 1:41 p.m. CT June 14, 2017 | Updated 16 hours ago

    A deaf Maltese that needs caring for. Emergency dental work to be completed before a 26th birthday — and his parents' insurance cutoff. No way to be without a cellphone for a week.

    Those are some reasons potential jurors were excused Wednesday as lawyers and a judge worked to select the panel that will hear the trial of a former Vanderbilt University football player charged with aggravated rape and other crimes.

    Brandon E. Banks stands trial Monday. Jury selection began Wednesday, with a pool of about 140 Davidson County residents being called to the Justice A.A. Birch criminal courthouse downtown. Twelve will decide the case.

    By lunchtime Wednesday, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] had screened through dozens of potential jurors who had hardships and said they could not be in trial for a week or serve as sequestered jurors. The original group was whittled down by 60 people, and the rest told to return to court Thursday.

    The jurors will be sequestered, as have two prior juries hearing trials involving other defendants in the case, in an effort to keep them isolated from intense media coverage.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  11. #11
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    Jury chosen in Vanderbilt rape trial of Brandon Banks

    5:28 p.m. CT June 15, 2017

    It took just about six hours on Thursday for lawyers to pick the 16 people that will hear next week's trial of a former Vanderbilt University football player charged with aggravated rape.

    The sixteen people are 12 women and four men. Six are minorities. Choosing them provided some hints about the state and defense cases at trial next week.

    They include a former military member. A nurse. An engineer. A woman who said serving on a jury was on her bucket list - along with visiting the Grand Canyon.

    On trial is Brandon E. Banks, 23, who is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. Prosecutors say Banks and three other former Vanderbilt football players raped an unconscious woman in a dorm room on June 23, 2013.

    SNIP

    The 16 chosen jurors will return to court Monday to begin Banks' trial, which is expected to last one week. They will be sequestered, meaning they will stay overnight in a Nashville hotel, be kept under close watch and have to turn in their cellphones during trial.

    And though all 16 will hear the state's evidence, four will be deemed alternates and dismissed before deliberations, leaving 12 to decide the case.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  12. #12
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    Lawyer talks defense strategy of Brandon Banks in Vanderbilt rape trial

    Updated: June 18, 2017, 10:56 pm

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nearly four years after the rape of an unconscious woman in a Vanderbilt dorm room, Brandon Banks will face a jury.

    Worrick Robinson represented Cory Batey in the Vanderbilt rape trial. He said it will be interesting to watch the defense strategy in this trial as it has been unsuccessfully tried three times, including a mistrial.

    "It’s going to be, I think, the same trial," said Robinson. "The state has tried this case three times. They’re excellent lawyers. They are going to put on the same case. Why? Because they can, and it’s worked three times."

    Banks is the third football player to stand trial for the rape. It was photographed and videotaped.

    "The video and the pictures are going to run this case like they have the last three times," said Robinson. "Taking audio, pictures, video of an event suggests you like what you are seeing and you want to share it."

    SNIP

    Banks faces five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. If convicted of a single aggravated rape count, Banks faces a minimum of 15 years in prison according to Tennessee Law.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Opening statements set for third player in Vandy rape case

    6/19/17 3:43 AM

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Opening statements are set to begin Monday in the trial of a third former Vanderbilt football player accused in the 2013 dorm room rape of an unconscious female student.

    Two of the four players charged in the case have already been convicted and sentenced to prison following jury trials. Because there have been multiple trials and sentencing hearings already, the victim could be forced to take the stand yet again when Brandon Banks is tried this week. Victim rights advocates have condemned the process, saying she is being traumatized by being forced to continually confront the former players. Prosecutors say she’s committed to getting justice.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Unfortunately she will probably have to testify again, this is terribly sad, once again she is re-victimized.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  14. #14
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    Trial begins for Brandon Banks in Vanderbilt rape case

    Updated: June 19, 2017, 3:42 pm

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The trial for the third former football player involved in the Vanderbilt University rape investigation began Monday morning in Nashville.

    Brandon Banks, who was a wide receiver for the university, faces six different felony charges in the alleged rape and assault of an unconscious female student that happened at a Vanderbilt dorm room on June 22, 2013.

    Banks’ defense team told the jury the trial is going to be a difficult case and that they are going to see things that are very unsettling.

    "You are going to see some things in the photographs and videos about Brandon Banks that are going to make you mad at him and they are going to make you dislike him," defense attorney Katie Hagan. "But despite those things, the proof in this case will show you that Brandon Banks is not guilty of the crimes he is charged with in this incitement."

    While the defense states Banks was a victim of circumstance and that his other teammates were responsible, the prosecution says he willingly participated.

    "You will hear that during the whole process, the whole incident, they are encouraging each other. They are memorializing each other’s accomplishments," Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Last edited by Aubrey; 06-19-2017 at 08:53 PM. Reason: forgot to add
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Ex-college football player was bullied into role in dorm room rape, attorney says

    June 19, 2017, 3:47 PM

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A defense attorney says an ex-Vanderbilt football player charged with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] was pressured and bullied into participating.

    In opening statements Monday, attorney Katie Hagan said trial jurors must determine if Brandon Banks was acting under duress.

    Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman said Monday that a video shows Banks assaulted the student with a water bottle. She said Banks' cellphone contained 23 of 41 photos of the assault.

    Two of the four players charged have been convicted and sentenced to prison following jury trials. Prosecutors said the victim will testify again. She has testified in multiple trials and sentencings.

    Victim rights advocates have condemned the process, saying the victim is being traumatized by being made to continually confront the young men, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] in Nashville reports.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Administrator sunny47's Avatar
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    Defense: Man was goaded by fellow Vanderbilt teammate during rape
    Updated 11 minutes ago

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Brandon E. Banks' defense lawyers know that photographs and videos of a 2013 rape*show the former Vanderbilt University football player in the campus dorm room —*at the crime scene.
    "They are going to make you dislike him," lawyer Katie Hagan said Monday, acknowledging the battle the defense faces to temper those graphic images in the minds of the jury.
    But the images, she said, won't show Banks is guilty.
    Banks and three other Commodore football players*were each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in the assault of the unconscious woman four years ago.
    Many expected that, after*two of his former teammates were convicted in cases*that carried on for three years and endured a mistrial, the next time Banks returned to a Nashville courtroom would be to take a plea deal.
    That wasn't the case.
    Wearing a black suit jacket and white button down — no tie — the lean, 6-foot-1 defensive*back walked*into a downtown Nashville courtroom Monday,*his father by his side, to start trial. If found guilty of a single count of aggravated rape, the 23-year-old faces a minimum prison sentence of 15 years.*
    In a roughly 10-minute opening statement,*Hagan told jurors why they should question the state's key evidence and suggested her client acted under duress.
    Delivering a 30-minute*chronology of the night of the rape, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman*said in her opening statement jurors should find Banks guilty on all counts.
    Banks was one of two men who physically assaulted the woman, according to Norman, while others laughed, even clapped.
    "They're enjoying what Mr. Banks is doing to her," Norman said.


    Brandon E. Banks' defense lawyers know that photographs and videos of a 2013 rape*show the former Vanderbilt University football player in the campus dorm room —*at the crime scene.
    "They are going to make you dislike him," lawyer Katie Hagan said Monday, acknowledging the battle the defense faces to temper those graphic images in the minds of the jury.
    But the images, she said, won't show Banks is guilty.
    Banks and three other Commodore football players*were each charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in the assault of the unconscious woman four years ago.
    Many expected that, after*two of his former teammates were convicted in cases*that carried on for three years and endured a mistrial, the next time Banks returned to a Nashville courtroom would be to take a plea deal.
    That wasn't the case.
    Wearing a black suit jacket and white button down — no tie — the lean, 6-foot-1 defensive*back walked*into a downtown Nashville courtroom Monday,*his father by his side, to start trial. If found guilty of a single count of aggravated rape, the 23-year-old faces a minimum prison sentence of 15 years.*
    In a roughly 10-minute opening statement,*Hagan told jurors why they should question the state's key evidence and suggested her client acted under duress.
    Delivering a 30-minute*chronology of the night of the rape, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman*said in her opening statement jurors should find Banks guilty on all counts.
    Banks was one of two men who physically assaulted the woman, according to Norman, while others laughed, even clapped.
    "They're enjoying what Mr. Banks is doing to her," Norman said. front of jury Monday

  17. #17
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    Day by day: Brandon Banks' trial in Vanderbilt rape case

    June 19, 2017

    Follow updates and end-of-the-day recaps on [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], which began with opening statements on June 19.

    Banks, now 23, is one of four former Vanderbilt University football players charged in the rape of an unconscious woman at a campus dorm on June 23, 2013. He is the third player to go to trial on the following charges:

    five counts of aggravated rape

    two counts of aggravated sexual battery

    If convicted of aggravated rape, Banks faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.

    Here's what you missed each day of the trial:

    WARNING: Updates may contain graphic descriptions.

    Monday, June 19:

    Compared to three prior trials in the case, prosecutors are speeding through their witnesses. Vanderbilt Police Capt. Donnie Harville testified, narrating surveillance video he said shows four football players taking an unconscious woman into the dorm about 2:30 a.m. June 23, 2013.

    G.L. Black, who at the time was assistant dean of student conduct at Vanderbilt, interviewed Banks just a couple days later.

    Banks denied sexually assaulting the woman, and said he placed a towel under her face in case she got sick. He said he, Brandon Vandenburg, Cory Batey and Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie hung out in the dorm a short time before he left, and went to bed.

    Prosecutors say Banks and the other players agreed to stick to that story to cover up what happened. All four men were charged, and Vandenburg and Batey are serving prison sentences for their roles in the rape.

    Banks told a similar story to the lead Metro Nashville Police Department investigator, Detective Jason Mayo, in a later interview. Even when Mayo prodded, Banks didn't change his story.

    "I know some things went on in the room," Mayo said, according to a recording of the interview.

    "The question is, who is going to man up? Who is going to be responsible and tell the truth?"

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  18. #18
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Detective details photos, videos in Vanderbilt rape trial for Brandon Banks

    Updated: June 20, 2017, 4:15 pm

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – As the Vanderbilt University rape trial continues for a second day, jurors heard some of the most incriminating testimony against ex-football player Brandon Banks.

    Detective Chad Gish with the Metro Nashville Police Department took the stand Tuesday where he described uncovering several graphic cell phone pictures and three videos showing the assault.

    Banks looked down as Gish described each image and detailed what happened in the video, including the former football players laughing while the assault happened.

    "This CD contains those three videos, both in full speed with audio, and I was able to slow the videos down so you could get a better idea of what is going on in here visually, and I slowed them down to 50 percent," Gish said.

    While referring to a picture, the detective said, "After reviewing all the videos and images in the case, it appears that this is Brandon Banks’ hand."

    The fourth former football player charged in the case, Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie, also took the stand on Tuesday. McKenzie was Banks’ best friend and roommate at the time of the high-profile rape.

    McKenzie, who also testified during both Cory Batey and Brandon Vandenburg’s trials, recalled walking into Vandenburg’s dorm room on June 22, 2013 and seeing the victim lying on the floor. He also described the assault and Banks’ actions during the attack.

    When asked to describe a photo from that night, McKenzie said, "[That’s] Brandon Banks taking a picture."

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    I guess Banks was being bullied into taking the picture too...
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    Co-defendant, Banks remained friends after Vanderbilt rape case

    June 20, 2017

    Editor's note: This story contains graphic content based on court testimony and evidence and may be disturbing to some readers.

    Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie last talked to his friend and former Vanderbilt University football teammate this year, on Mother's Day.

    According to McKenzie, Brandon E. Banks offered to help pay for a plane ticket so McKenzie could visit him.

    It was an odd offer, McKenzie said, "because of the situation."

    On Tuesday, just more than a month later, McKenzie walked into a Nashville courtroom to testify against Banks, who is on trial, charged with raping an unconscious woman inside a Vanderbilt dorm on June 23, 2013. Four former football players, including McKenzie and Banks, were charged in the case.

    That they talked that day in May wasn't odd, he said. The two have continued their friendship, talking every couple of months about football, their lives.

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    Vanderbilt Rape Trial Continues For Banks

    10:20 AM, Jun 21

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The trial of 23-year-old Brandon Banks continued for a third day in the case of an unconscious female student who was raped inside a Vanderbilt University dorm room.

    Banks' fate lay in the hands of 12 jurors as testimony from witnesses continued on Wednesday.

    SNIP

    On Wednesday, for the fourth time, the victim took the stand to testify in open court about her rape.

    The victim said the last thing she remembered was a blue drink she was given by Vandenburg.

    "The next thing I remember is waking up alone in a room that I didn't recognize," the victim said.

    The victim also admitted, through tears, that she did not know Banks and that the first time she saw him in person was at that very moment on Wednesday in court.

    Shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, the State rested its case.

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    This is heartbreaking, the victim has to keep reliving her nightmare
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    Brandon Banks testifying in his own trial; State has rested case

    Posted: Jun 21, 2017 9:57 AM PDT Updated: Jun 21, 2017 9:57 AM PDT

    NASHVILLE, TN -- The state rested its case Wednesday morning in the rape trial against former Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks.

    Brandon Banks took the stand in his own defense just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

    The state called four more witnesses, including the victim, who had to relive her assault on the stand for the fourth time in this case.

    SNIP

    Banks' defense team is trying to sell the idea that Banks was pressured into participating.

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    Brandon Banks Testifies In Own Defense

    10:20 AM, Jun 21, 2017 - 1 min ago

    2 page article - Warning Graphic

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Brandon Banks, a former Vanderbilt University football player accused in the rape of an unconscious female student, took the stand Wednesday in his own defense.

    He spoke methodically and answered questions directly, detailing the moments of June 23, 2013 when a young woman was raped inside a Vanderbilt University dorm room, then Banks told the jurors he was constantly ridiculed by his teammates because they thought he was gay.

    That would be the basis of his defense strategy Wednesday morning, a young, rising college athlete, pressured by his former teammates to take pictures of a passed out female student as she lay unconscious on the floor of Gillette Hall. The now 23-year-old painted a picture for jurors of a racially divided football program, where players were constantly trying to have sex with girls on campus.

    "At Vanderbilt and especially when you're a freshman there's a 'body count' you keep when you're on campus. It's how many Vanderbilt girls you can sleep with," Banks said as he took the stand in his own defense. "My teammates would ask how many girls have you been with and I said 'zero' and they thought I was gay because I wasn't talking about girls."

    Attorney Mark Scruggs put Banks on the witness stand to push forward the theory that the former Vanderbilt football player acted under duress during the incident, which was captured on iPhone video.

    It was the first time Banks has spoken publicly about the rape which sent two of his former teammates, Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey to jail. Both were convicted of rape last year.

    SNIP

    "They [Vandenburg] said we were gonna f--- her," Banks said on the witness stand.

    "I didn't want to be a part of it but I couldn't leave," he added.

    His most disturbing testimony came just before lunch, as Banks detailed what has been alluded to multiple times through this case over the last four years. A number of students saw the unconscious female victim being dragged into Gillette Hall but said nothing.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    No excuse, he could have left...
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Brandon Banks blames bullying for his action in Vanderbilt rape case

    June 21, 2017

    Brandon E. Banks licked and pursed his lips, betraying his nerves as he took the witness stand in his own defense Wednesday.

    The 23-year-old told a jury how he was bullied for being a small member of the Vanderbilt University Commodores football team during the 2012-2013 school year.

    He was ridiculed, he said, for not wanting to have sex with many women because he had a girlfriend.

    "When you’re a freshman, it’s called a body count they keep," Banks said. "When you’re on campus it's how many girls can you sleep with."

    Because Banks' number was zero, teammates accused him of being gay.

    That bullying and pressure built up, he said, until the early morning hours of June 23.

    SNIP

    Banks testified that he was intimidated by [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]and the team's prized, new-to-campus recruit, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. Batey and Vandenburg are both serving prison sentences for the rape.

    Banks admitted on the witness stand he took pictures of the woman. Those pictures were recovered by detectives and are key to the state's case.

    But there's more the jury should know, according to Banks: Vandenburg made him do it.

    "He told me to take pictures, too, so I take pictures."

    Banks' testimony will resume after a lunch break.

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    Video

    Vanderbilt rape case: Brandon Banks testifies in his own defense

    June 21, 2017

    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Ex-Vanderbilt football player Brandon Banks took the stand on Wednesday to tell his side of the story about the sexual assault of a female student back in 2013.

    SNIP

    Before Banks took the stand, the state called four witnesses, including the victim.

    The woman, who is now in graduate school working toward a Ph.D., shared chilling testimony about the brutal rape that changed her life. This is the fourth time she has had to take the stand in this case.

    The woman said it all started when she met up with Brandon Vandenburg at the Tin Roof on Demonbreun. She told jurors that she does not remember anything past getting a drink from Vandenburg that night, which he described as "a California version of a Long Island iced tea."

    "You have to try it, you have to try it," said the woman, recalling Vandenburg's words about the drink.

    While fighting back tears, the young woman recounted how she woke up feeling sore and confused in an unfamiliar dorm room around 8 a.m. the next day.

    "The next thing I remember is waking up alone in a room that I didn't recognize," she said.

    The victim's former roommate, Lauren Miller, testified about how disheveled the woman looked when she saw her the next day, saying the victim had vomit in her hair and it looked like her hair had gotten wet and then dried again.

    SNIP

    Another former Vanderbilt football player, Dillon Van Der Wal, also took the stand. The defense tried to get him to testify about a sense of loyalty on the football team and a feeling of pressure to protect one another. Van Der Wal said that kind of pressure did not exist on the team.

    Banks is the third former Vanderbilt football player to go to trial. Batey and Vandenburg have already been tried and convicted. Jaborian McKenzie has testified in all of the other trials but has not been tried.

    Judge Monte Watkins dismissed the jury early on Wednesday afternoon because the defense team said their witnesses would not be able to arrive until Thursday.

    The defense may have three to five more witnesses on its list. If they get through them quickly, closing arguments could begin on Thursday.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
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    June 21, 2017 | Updated 13 hours ago

    SNIP

    The atmosphere at Vanderbilt

    The jury did not hear about the night before the rape, which Criminal Court Judge Monte Watkins ruled was not relevant for the panel to consider.

    But Banks’ testimony on the issue was screened in the courtroom outside the jury's presence.

    Banks said that night, several young women were on campus. One was 16, he said. They were at a party in the dorm, four floors up from where the rape took place.

    "And they were allowing the whole party there to have sex with them," Banks said. "When we found that out, (McKenzie) and (Batey) wanted to find them."

    Banks said he saw one young woman performing a sex act on another football player, whom he did not identify.

    The next night, in the dorm with the unconscious woman, Vandenburg taunted Banks.

    "You’re not going to b---- out like you b------ out last night," Banks recalled Vandenburg’s words.

    That’s not the only pressure Banks felt, according to his testimony. He said his time at Vanderbilt was different than he expected from the beginning.

    "When I got there, there was a lot of division between students," he said. "Students and teammates. There was a kind of racial divide between the black students and white students."

    And one or two days after the rape, he and others were put on a bus to go to interviews with student conduct officials. Someone said to "keep your mouth shut," he said.

    And Vanderbilt’s football coaches, including then-head coach James Franklin, called a meeting. Franklin is now the head football coach at Penn State.

    The coaches knew something had happened over the weekend and had a message for the players, according to Banks.

    "That we needed to look out for each other," Banks said, "and anchor down."

    The jurors' job

    But jurors will have to evaluate Banks’ sincerity and credibility as they weigh his testimony.

    In cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Jan Norman revealed that four months after the rape, Banks and his lawyer met with prosecutors for an interview. In that interview, according to testimony, Banks said he had been bullied but never said he felt trapped or held in the room.

    The defense will make the case in closing arguments on Thursday that Banks was under duress. According to Tennessee law, that means he acted under imminent threat of serious harm or death.

    According to Banks, that’s how he felt in the dorm.

    "At one point Vandenburg said that he was going to f--- me up," he said.

    Norman said he had choices. He had his cellphone but didn’t call for help. He left to go to the bathroom, but chose to return to the dorm room.

    And he chose to stay at Vanderbilt despite the intense bullying he described.

    Climbing down from the witness stand on Wednesday, Banks returned to his chair in the courtroom and cried.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    IIRC, in one of the articles I read, the prosecutor pointed out that shortly after the rape during an interview with investigators, Banks never told them he felt threatened.

    He was probably so traumatized by the bullying that he pushed it back into his sub-conscience
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    Vanderbilt rape case: Closing arguments underway in Brandon Banks trial

    Updated: Jun 22, 2017 11:16 AM PDT - Video included

    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The state and the defense are both trying to persuade the jury during their closing arguments in the trial for a former Vanderbilt football player accused of rape.

    The defendant, Brandon Banks, is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.
    Closing arguments began around 10:45 a.m. Thursday.

    Assistant Jan Norman replayed portions of the graphic videos and pictures of the assault to the jury to prove Brandon Banks is guilty. Norman also reminded jurors about the definition of duress, which is important because this plays into Banks' legal argument for his defense.

    Norman argued that since Banks was able to leave the dorm room where the assault happened at any time, he was not in any "imminent" danger and that he could not use duress as a defense.

    Defense attorney Mark Scruggs claims that Banks could not leave the room for many factors, citing bullying from his teammates and the pressure to remain loyal to the Vanderbilt football team.

    Deputy District Attorney Roger Moore is handling the second part of the state's closing argument, which began just after 1 p.m.

    The defense team called two witnesses, both former Vanderbilt teammates, to the stand on Thursday morning. There was some debate about what those witnesses could say in front of the jury. The questions ended up being about Banks' reputation on the football team.

    The state called two rebuttal witnesses. One of them was Detective Chad Gish, who testified that he did not see any threatening or intimidating messages sent to Banks during his search of all four co-defendants' cellphones.

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    Jury charged after closing arguments in Vanderbilt rape case for Brandon Banks

    Updated: June 22, 2017, 1:59 pm

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Judge Monte Watkins charged the jury early Thursday afternoon as both state prosecutors and Brandon Banks’ defense gave their closing arguments.

    The jury will now decide if the former Vanderbilt University football is guilty in the rape of an unconscious female student in an on-campus dorm room in June 2013.

    Banks has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him–five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

    If convicted, the former football player will be taken into custody immediately.

    Thursday was the fourth day of his trial, which began with two former Vanderbilt University football players taking the stand in his defense.

    Former teammate Ladarius Banks was the first witness to testify. He told the court "he did get picked on" when referring to Banks’ relationship with the team.

    Another former player, Brian Kimbrough, took the stand next, saying, "Guys called him names because he didn’t go out."

    Their words come after Banks[Only registered and activated users can see links. ], telling the courtroom he was often bullied and called "gay" by other teammates, which he claims had a hand in the peer pressure he felt to take photos and partake in the rape.

    After their testimonies, both the state prosecutors and Banks’ defense team rested their cases and closing arguments were heard into early afternoon.

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    Vanderbilt rape case: Jury begins deliberations in Brandon Banks trial

    Updated: Jun 22, 2017 1:14 PM PDT

    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The jury has been handed the case in the trial for a former Vanderbilt football player accused of rape.

    The defendant, Brandon Banks, is charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery for his role in the gang rape of an unconscious female student in a dorm room on this day in 2013.

    After a lengthy reading of jury instructions, jurors were dismissed around 2:35 p.m. Thursday.

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    Vanderbilt rape case: Jury to return Friday, continue deliberating fate of Brandon Banks

    Tennessee Published 1:13 p.m. CT June 22, 2017

    After 5˝ hours weighing the case and still undecided late Thursday, jurors deliberating the fate of former Vanderbilt University football player Brandon E. Banks chose to take a break for the night.

    The panel will return to Nashville’s criminal courthouse Friday to continue deliberating, teeing up a possible verdict exactly four years after the rape at Vanderbilt led to charges against Banks and catapulted the school into the national spotlight.

    Banks is one of four former Commodores players charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery in the June 23, 2013, assault.

    Jurors heard four days of testimony and argument this week.

    And though it was the shortest trial in the case yet, it was the longest a jury has deliberated. In three prior trials for other ex-players, juries deliberated 4˝ hours at the longest and 2˝ at the shortest before delivering guilty verdicts.

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    4 years ago today June 23, 2013 the assault took place, so it would only be fitting IMO, that a guilty verdict be returned today.
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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