~Deena Christian, second from right, weeps in court
Although the brutal torture and murders occurred 3 years ago there has been no closure for the families of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. The families have not been idle in seeking justice not only for their children, but they are attempting to have laws changed to benefit all victims. Gary and Deena Christian and Hugh and Mary Newsom still face numerous court rulings and another trial.
Tomorrow is a status hearing for Vanessa "Nessa" Coleman, the only female charged in the murder case. Coleman's attorneys want the charges dropped because they claim for Coleman's agreeing to testify against Eric Boyd, federal agents offered or indicated she could receive immunity.
If the charges stand against Coleman her trial is slated to begin May 10.
Letalvis "Rome" Cobbins was convicted last August and sentenced to life without parole on murder and rape charges. He will appear before Judge Richard Baumgartner on February 4 for sentencing on all the lesser charges.
George "G" Thomas was convicted in December and also sentenced to life without parole. He will be back in court for sentencing on the lesser charges on February 26.
Unbelievably, the Tennessee Department of Corrections sent Thomas to the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville. Yup, they did it again - Tiptonville is a medium- security facility! The same thing they did with Cobbins. Both are now residing in a maximum security facility, but only after protests by the families.
Remember, during the Thomas trial the defense filed a 24 page motion for acquittal. Judge Baumgartner reserved ruling and instructed the State to file a response
In mid-January, Thomas' attorneys acknowledge that their request is not yet complete, but they needed to file the motion for a new trial within 30 days of the order of sentence.
Thomas' attorneys argue there wasn't sufficient evidence to convict Thomas and that the admission of Thomas' statements to police was unconstitutional.
For those who followed the Lemarcus Davidson trial, you may recall the outrage of the families, as well as the public, when defense attorneys Doug Trant and David Eldridge basically besmirched the reputations of Channon and Chris by saying that is was possible that they may well have known Davidson and willing went to him to purchase drugs.
No, there is absolutely no proof of that! What was suggested by the defense was said to try to create doubt for the jury. However, the lines of honor, and respectability where crossed when these words were uttered in court. Is it acceptable for defense to lie about the victims? I think not!
Tennessee State Senators Tim Burchett, Randy McNally and Representative Ryan Haynes are working with the families on two pieces of legislation. The first would automatically make maximum-security prison the immediate destination for anyone convicted of murder in Tennesse. Logically, this should be in place in all states!
The second piece of legislation could have a dramatic effect on defense attorneys. The law would basically hold defense lawyers criminally liable for any unproven claims made during a trial. Again, this should be in place in all states!
Senator Tim Burchett said, "Those young people suffered enough indignity, and their families have, too. At some point somebody has got to do something for the victims."
Gary and Denna Christian discuss victim's reputations.
Thank you David from Tennessee for sharing some of the information!