Stacey Barchenger reported on last Friday’s hearing in the Vanderbilt rape case. One defendant asked for a continuance in order to obtain an expert witness and one defendant requested the jury to be sequestered. Both motions were denied. The case is set for November 3rd ,2014. I watched a little bit of the hearing on Friday waiting on my case. It made be think of a motion that should have been filed. I don’t know if the defense filed a motion for a change of venue.
The Vanderbilt case has been in the news since the story broke. The case had all the ingredients for a high publicity case. Big university , horrible rape, football players, and a popular head coach were mentioned in the press .Can a criminal defense lawyer request a change of venue ?
The short answer is yes. Rule 21 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure allows a person accused of a crime to request the court to change the venue of the case . venue is simply where the case will be tried. One must prove the accused it is unlikely to get a fair trial because of undue excitement against the defense . Getting a fair jury may be difficult due to the news reports.
Tennessee courts have set out 17 factors that the court must consider when granting a motion for a change of venue . In my career , I have only filed one motion for a change of venue which was granted .
The trial starts today.