Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thomas Convicted For Second Time In Christian-Newsom Torture-Murders

Christopher Newsom, Channon Christian, date unknown.

On Friday, May 17, George Thomas was convicted for the second time in the January 2007 torture-murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

For the victim's families, this made seven trials and over 300 court appearances.

A Davidson County (Nashville) jury found Thomas guilty on all counts, the same as in Thomas' previous trial in 2009. The jurors were unaware that George Thomas had been convicted of the same crimes in 2009.

On the same afternoon, the panel of six men and six women gave Thomas a sentence of life with the possibility of parole. The previous conviction saw a sentence of life without parole. By law, he cannot come up for parole until after serving 51 years. With six years to his credit, Thomas would be 75 years old.

On June 4, there will be a sentencing hearing on the lesser charges and more can be added to the sentence.

Thomas defense attorneys were much more aggressive than in 2009. They argued for his innocence on the grounds of no DNA or fingerprint evidence against him.

Lemaricus Davidson, the ringleader, was sentenced to death. Letalvis Cobbins is serving life without parole. Judge Walter Kurtz rejected new trials for these two because of overwhelming DNA evidence tying them to the rape and murder of Channon Christian.

Attorneys for Davidson and Cobbins are appealing but most observers think their convictions will stand.

The lone female defendant, Vanessa Coleman, was convicted of facilitation for the second time last November. Her sentence was 35 years, down from 53 after her first trial.

A fifth man, Eric Boyd, has always been suspected to of taking part in the carjacking and other crimes. Boyd was clever enough not to admit being in the Chipman Street house and there was no forensic evidence against him.

Boyd was convicted in 2008 in federal court as an accessory and sentenced to 18 years.

Thomas and Cobbins in police interviews said Boyd participated in the carjacking but these statements could not be used in court unless they took the stand. The families believe Boyd got away with murder.

Both the Christians and Newsoms vow to attend any more proceedings in this horrific case.

Here is a link from WATE with several videos of the reaction of family members to the verdict and another from WBIR.

David in TN

 George Thomas at his retrial.


Liz said...

Thanks David - shame this was needed - good to see the same result.