Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vanessa Coleman Gets 35-Year Sentence


I apologize for the lateness of this post.  David did write it two weeks ago, and I got swamped with real life responsibilities to Mr. Sprocket. I hope to get back to court and reporting on cases soon. Sprocket.

Vanessa Coleman was sentenced on February 1st, 2013, to 35 years in prison after being convicted for a second time of the facilitation of the rape and murder of Channon Christian in January 2007.

After her first trial in 2010, Coleman received a 53-year sentence from former Judge Richard Baumgartner, who has been convicted in federal court of drug offenses while on the bench. Baumgartner's infractions gave Coleman a second trial last November in which she was convicted on 13 of 17 counts, less than the first time.

This resulted in a lesser sentence. The prosecution asked for 49 years, the defense for 13. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood handed down a 35-year sentence.

Since Coleman has been incarcerated for six years, she will come up for parole in around five years.

Judge Blackwood called the Christian-Newsom murders "the most horrible" murder case he had ever seen. He sentenced Coleman to the maximum terms of 25 years on facilitation of murder, six years on facilitation of kidnapping, and four years for facilitation of rape.

Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Jamie Satterfield wrote: "Although Blackwood said Coleman's 'youth' and lack of criminal history supported a lesser sentence, he opined those mitigating factors were outweighed by the fact that Coleman did nothing to stop the atrocities Christian suffered."

"The psychological torture of this unfortunate victim was immense," Judge Blackwood said.

The ringleader of the torture-murders of Channon Christian, Lemaricus Davidson, and his half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, were denied new trials by Judge Walter Kurtz. The other defendant, George Thomas, will receive a second trial. A date for Thomas' trial has not been set.

The above link has a video with an interview with Channon Christian's parents, Gary and Deena.


Anonymous said...

On February 11, WATE reported that the retrial for George Thomas could begin in mid-May.

Attorneys for both sides indicated to Judge Walter Kurtz that May 13 would be a suitable trial date, with jury selection on May 9 and May 10.

The date is supposed to be finalized at a pre-trial hearing later this month.

David In TN

Starbright said...


Thank you so much for your reporting and notifications. I am in TN and these trials are closely watched here. I'm still sure that there are some people who have never heard of this awful, terrible slaughter of two very innocent and wonderful young people.

I hope they live stream Thomas' retrial. I will watch every minute.

Thanks again.

Sandy said...

Small comfort for the families of these two young people, but I am glad justice was served up for this one perpetrator.