Friday, March 5, 2010

Did She Keep a Journal of the Christian-Newsom Crimes?

~"Nessie" Coleman

Vanessa Coleman, the only female charged in the Christian-Newsom case, was once again before Judge Richard Baumgartner for another pre-trial hearing.

Her attorneys, Ted Lavit and Russell Greene, are arguing to bar Coleman's statements to federal authorities from the trial. They claim that Coleman was questioned for two hours before authorities turned on a tape recorder.

Prosecutors Leland Price and Takisha Fitzgerald countered that Coleman was declining protective custody and saying she wanted to go home to Kentucky and that she wasn't being questioned during those two hours.

But, the real bombshell in today's hearing is the fact that "Nessie" apparently kept a journal and may have memorialized the crimes against Channon Christian and Chris Newsom and Price and Fitzgerald want to use it against her.

Needless to say, Lavit argued the prosecution has to prove the journal is hers and is relevant to the trial.

Baumgartner responded by brandishing a photograph of the journal in a purse prosecutors say belonged to Coleman.

"You mean the photograph of her purse with the journal in it?" Baumgartner told Lavit, a note of sarcasm in his voice.

"A purse," Lavit replied.

"It's got her stuff in it," prosecutor Leland Price countered.

The journal has not been made public so we don't know what's in it, however it appears to be loaded with references to the 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.

"I've read it, and it certainly seems to be relevant to this incident," Baumgartner said.

Talk about your jaw dropping, holy cow moment!

This could crack this case wide open and as tough as it will be for the families, they may finally know exactly what happened to their kids. Also, I certainly wonder if we will find out Eric Boyd's full participation in the crimes and will the other sources of DNA be revealed?



Sprocket said...

Unforkin' believable donchais!

Now, which defendant did she testify against or co-operate about?

If she had a diary/reference about the crimes, did the rules of evidence prevent prosecutors from utilizing this evidence against the other defendants?

Anonymous said...

I have thoughts similar to Sprocket. Why did the prosecution not use this evidence before, especially against Eric Boyd? Surely this is not something that just now came to light.

Ray in Nashville

Sprocket said...

Hi Ray,

I had a long talk with donchais about this very issue. All defendants were tried separately and they were accusing each other. The judge ruled early on (I believe) that their statements accusing each other, could not be used against another defendant. That would include this diary.

What I wonder is, did the prosecution know about this all this time, and it's now just hitting the public....or is the diary something that was recently discovered?

Another possibility is, originally Coleman was scheduled to be tried second in line. However, her trial was moved to this time slot and other trials went forward. Could it be the prosecution moved her trial to last, when this diary came to light.

I can't wait to find out when her trial opens. I suspect the diary will be admitted into evidence. (That's my bet, lol!)

ritanita said...

I am petrified as to what this diary contains. At the same time, I need to know.

What kind of monster comments in her daily journal the details of a heinous series of crimes?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Sprocket. It's hard to believe these 5 monsters found each other and 4 were living in the same house. Talk about a house of horrors!!!

It seems there should be a way to use this diary information against Eric Boyd. I am very uncomfortable that he is only sentenced to 15 years in prison. It is clear that he participated fully in the kidnapping and murders, and was not just an accessory.

When the last monster (Coleman) goes on trial, I plan on attending at least part of the trial if I can get in the courtroom. I have never seen a monster in person before.

Ray in Nashville

Anonymous said...

My understanding also is that what she said in the diary about the other suspects could not be used against them unless Coleman took the stand and was open for cross-examination. One clue to what is in the diary is that Coleman is charged for the murder of Channon, but just for facilitation in Chris' murder.

I believe the diary was found immediately as it was in Coleman's purse. The judge actually held up a photo Thursday of the diary inside the purse.

If Ray goes to Knoxville, he can probably get in. The other trials have had empty seats in the courtroom. The atmosphere was tense, especially in the Cobbinsa and Davidson trials. I live over 250 miles away from Knoxville and cannot attend. I did use to go to University of Tennessee football games and visit relatives who used to live there so I know Knoxville.

I have watched the live stream of every trial. This enabled me to write about it.

Coleman gave, I believe, four statements to police. Only one of them has been released and it's bad enough.

David From TN

Sprocket said...

Ray, if you do decide to attend any of Coleman's trial and are willing to take notes, please email me at the blog.

Eric was convicted in FEDERAL court. The state can still try him some time in the future.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket, sure I will take notes for you if I go. I doubt that I will go to every day of the trial though. I think David did a great job of covering the trial from the video stream, and I assume Coleman's trial will also be shown live via internet stream.

I hope to attend 2, maybe 3 days. I live about 175 miles from Knoxville.

Ray in Nashville