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2 dismissed Vanderbilt players get August trial
Question of the Day
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AP) - Attorneys Wednesday set a trial date for two of four former Vanderbilt football players charged with raping an unconscious fellow student.
Two other 19-year-old ex-players _Brandon Banks and Tip McKenzie _ also are charged in the June 23 rape. Their case was separated from the other two players at a Wednesday hearing. All four have pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault charges and are all out of jail on bond.
A fifth player, Chris Boyd, entered a conditional guilty plea last month to a misdemeanor charge for attempting to cover up the crime. If the 21-year-old successfully completes unsupervised probation, his record will be cleared.
As a condition of his plea, Boyd has agreed to testify against the others.
Batey’s attorney, Worrick Robinson, said after Wednesday’s hearing that the fact that prosecutors separated the case of Vandenburg and Batey most likely means that Banks and McKenzie also have agreed to testify.
“It’s certainly a strategic move by the state,” Robinson said. “They’re doing what they need to do to makes their case as strong as possible at trial.”
All five players were dismissed from the football team.
During Boyd’s plea hearing last month, Thurman gave an account of what happened on June 23, the night he says the unconscious woman was sexually assaulted by different people.
Vandenburg, of Indio, Calif.; Batey, of Nashville; Banks, of Brandywine, Md.; and McKenzie, of Woodville, Miss., were suspended from school, and a Vanderbilt spokesman said on Wednesday that they are no longer students there.
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