Start Of Vanderbilt Rape Trial Could Be Delayed

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Start Of Vanderbilt Rape Trial Could Be Delayed

By Nick Beres. CREATED Jul 28, 2014 - UPDATED: Jul 28, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There has been a  big development in the high-profile Vanderbilt rape case, just two weeks before the trial is set to begin.

It's been more than a year now since police said a Vanderbilt student was raped inside a dorm on campus.

Brandon Vandenburg and three other former football players were charged in the case.

The trial is set to begin August 11, but NewsChannel 5 has learned attorneys for Vandenburg have filed a motion asking for a delay to the start of the trial.

Why would they request that the judge grant a continuance?

The reasons may include:

-- The time spent arguing legal challenges which tried to get California attorney Albert Perez kicked off the defense team.

-- The desire to separate Vandenburg from the other defendants so he stands trial alone.

-- And the argument that Vandenburg's attorneys are still receiving discovery evidence from the prosecution.

They can't prepare for trial without that evidence.

"In discovery you might learn about other witnesses or the need for another expert. This aids you in the preparation for the defense," said Newschannel 5 legal analyst Nick Leonardo.

He believes lead prosecutor Tom Thurman likely won't object to the motion.

The high-profile trial comes at a time of transition in the District Attorney's office with Torry Johnson leaving to be replaced by new district attorney Glenn Funk on September 1.

"It's very common in criminal cases with lots of defendants and charges that it could be continued not once, but two or three times," said Leonardo.

Judge Monte Watkins is expected to hear the motion on Friday. If he grants it the case may not go to trial until next year.

Nick Beres

Nick Beres

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Nick Beres is a veteran reporter with almost 20 years on the beat in Nashville and he's always looking for the big story. He often gets it.