Vandy Rape Suspect is Now Guilty

Last night, a jury found former Vanderbilt footballer Cory Batey guilty of aggravated rape and other charges from an incident in 2013.  He will be sentenced in May.

The victim of the incident was frustrated that the jury did not convict him of all of the charges against him.  She wrote in a statement, “I am deeply disappointed with the jury’s verdict… Despite the hard work of the exemplary prosecutors who’ve worked tirelessly on this case, I can only conclude that our system of justice is broken. I deserved better. Victims of sexual assault deserve better. Our community deserves better.”

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt’s Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs wrote, “The jury has spoken. Our first thoughts are with the victim and the incredible strength she has shown, and continues to show, both throughout the investigation and the legal proceedings.”

More defendants involved in the incident, whose cases will be heard separately, are yet to be convicted.

Full coverage is available from WKRN.

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Vanderbilt Marriott to write a really big check

The jury in the lawsuit brought against the Vanderbilt Marriott by sports journalist Erin Andrews has come to a conclusion: the hotel must pay her $27.5 million, while her stalker must pay an equal amount. If they pay using a travel rewards credit card, at least they could get a few free nights in their own hotel out of it.

According to quotes obtained by WSMV, the jury was heavily swayed by emotional testimony:

“I truly believe she was telling the trust,” [juror Terry] Applegate said…

“Just the emotion that he gave, the feeling,” [juror Noble] Taylor said. “The story that he told about his daughter just made her a normal person. How she is now versus how she was then.”

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Covering the media covering Erin Andrews

Steven Hale of Pith in the Wind opines about the media circus surrounding Erin Andrew’s lawsuit against the Vanderbilt Marriott.  As I’ve scrolled through Nashens’ Twitter timeline for the news of the past few days, I’ve had many of the same thoughts as my timeline has been all but taken over by every happening around the courtroom.

Hale writes about the collection of local TV reporters at the courthouse:

A downside, however, is the tendency to report all news — from public corruption to a small garage fire to another media person leaving court for lunch — in the same breathless manner. You need some stock footage of Erin Andrews walking into court to go with tonight’s segment on the trial. Understood. But this seems a bit much. And not just because it’s silly. But because this entire case happens to be about a woman who was stalked and filmed against her will. To be blunt, does this seem a bit creepy to anyone else?

If you are into learning every detail of the goings-on at the Erin Andrews trial, as she sues Marriott for its negligence and lax security that allowed a peeping tom to film her naked in her hotel room, you can follow along with one of the many reporters present at the trial.

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Nashville’s Strained Public Resources for the Mentally Ill

Stephen Hale of Nashville Scene’s Pith in the Wind blog asks, “why are we putting William Walters in jail?”  A few weeks ago, Walters dangled on a road sign over I-65, shutting down the highway during the evening rush hour.  After a very public mental health crisis, the man was sent to jail for 20 days.  Public Defender Dawn Deaner told Pith in the Wind,

“I can say the decision to arrest Mr. Walters and pursue criminal charges against him was a classic example of how poorly Nashville deals with individuals who act out in a manner that appears motivated by mental illness, as opposed to criminality,” she says, in an emailed statement. “This was not an isolated situation. Every day in Nashville, individuals — often poor and homeless — are arrested and brought to jail for behavior rooted in untreated mental illness.

Read the entire piece over at Nashville Scene.


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