A state district judge will rule Monday if a former Baylor University football player will win a new trial after his January conviction for sexually assaulting a former Baylor student.
More than 100 of Tevin Elliott’s family members and friends, most wearing T-shirts with “Free Tevin Elliott” and “Justice for Tevin” printed on them, attended the 90-minute hearing Friday morning at which the former defensive end asked for a new trial.
Before the hearing started, 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson ordered Elliott’s supporters to either remove the shirts or to turn them inside-out so the messages could not be seen.
Elliott’s mother, Shureka Elliott, and two of his uncles, Rodrick Elliott and Verone Rape, said the group chartered a bus and traveled from Mount Pleasant and other East Texas locations to show their support for Elliot, who they say is the victim of a “law enforcement conspiracy.”
Elliott was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $10,000 on Jan. 23 after his conviction on two counts of sexually assaulting another student at a party at a Waco apartment complex in 2012.
Two other former Baylor students testified at his trial that he sexually assaulted them, too.
There also was evidence that a fourth student reported he sexually assaulted her, but she did not testify.
Elliott, who came to Baylor in 2009 from Mount Pleasant, denied he sexually assaulted any of the women and said his relationships with them were consensual.
Johnson took the matter under advisement and said he would issue an order on Monday.
William A. Bratton III alleged in his motion for a new trial that prosecutors violated evidentiary rules by supplying a surveillance videotape from the apartment complex with 30 minutes omitted that could have been important to Elliott’s defense.
He also alleged that Elliott’s trial attorney, Jason P. Darling, was ineffective because he failed to prevent testimony from Elliott’s two other accusers from being heard by the jury.
Darling, who did not attend the hearing, filed an affidavit with the court that disputes those allegations.
Bratton called as his first witness Assistant District Attorney Hilary LaBorde, who prosecuted Elliott with Robert Moody.
LaBorde said she was unaware the surveillance tape, which was given to Waco police by apartment managers, had an inexplicable gap in the recording between 1:08 a.m. and 1:38 a.m. on April 15, 2012, the night of the party.
She said she was only made aware of it after Bratton filed the motion for new trial, adding the tape came to her office that way from the police department.
The tape originated from surveillance cameras at the Aspen Heights apartment complex, 3344 S. Third St., where a big crowd of Baylor students, including many on the football team, attended a party.
The student testified she was dancing with Elliott at the party when he grabbed her by the arm and took her outside.
She testified he sexually assaulted her near a pool house and again near a sandy volleyball court.
Bratton alleged the omitted videotape footage could have shown them entering the pool area.