Friday, September 11, 2009

Christian-Newsom Torture Murders Update

Guest Entry by David in Tennessee!

Since Letalvis Cobbins was convicted in August for his part in the Christian-Newsom Torture Murders, some developments have taken place. The supposed ringleader, Lemaricus Davidson, has insisted on a local Knox County jury, much to the displeasure of the judge.

Around 386 prospective jurors showed for orientation last week. More will be brought in next week. Jury selection will begin September 21. Testimony may begin October 5.

Judge Richard Baumgartner made some rulings this week. The judge said that he will not allow the state to use Davidson's prior carjacking conviction against him if he decides to take the stand during his trial.

The judge says he feels the previous carjacking conviction would be prejudicial to the jury and could create the thought that "if he was convicted for carjacking before, he must have done it again." However, the judge will allow the prosecution to use Davidson's aggravated robbery charge, which was connected to his carjacking conviction in 2001. The judge said the robbery charge shows a trend of dishonesty and violence that could impeach Davidson's credibility.

None of his record comes in unless Davidson takes the stand. Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom's parents are upset at this.

In January 2001, Davidson was sentenced to 8 years for aggravated robbery and carjacking, but he was released from prison early, in August 2006.

Davidson was released from prison just 5 months before the carjacking and murders of Channon and Chris. "If they wouldn't have let him out early, my daughter would be standing here with us, but they let him out early for carjacking, and now she's dead, and they won't let them talk about it in court," Channon Christian's father Gary said.

Davidson's thumbprint was on a bank envelope in Christian's SUV, on her pay stub, and on her Blockbuster rental card. Investigators also identified Davidson's prints on the trash bags, which held Christian's body.

The trash can in which Channon Christian's body was found was in Davidson's house.

Davidson's lawyers tried to get the fingerprint evidence excluded. I don't see on what grounds, but they are contesting everything.

Thank you David, for all your hard work in covering this case for T&T! Sprocket.


katfish said...

Wow David, thanks for keeping us up to date on this horrific case.

I agree with Channon's father's remarks about Davidson's prior convictions. It is just wrong that the jury won't hear about any of Davidson's record if he doesn't testify.

The silver lining is that as long as Davidson demands a Knox County jury they are most likely already aware of these prior bad acts.

I suppose Davidson's lawyers are doing their job trying to get everything excluded. Hopefully this judge will draw the line on any more exclusions than prior convictions!

Ronni said...

I'd love to hear the grounds on which the defense argued to exclude the fingerprints...

Anonymous said...

A fund has been started in Knoxville to aid the parents of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom (Google Newsom-Christian Family Fund). Donations are being taken during September. Not only have they had to listen to testimony about the horrific suffering and death of their children, but they have had to attend innumerable hearings as well as 3 more trials. Channon's parents have had to take unpaid leave from their jobs. Chris' parents are retired.

A few days ago, I went to my Suntrust bank to make a donation. I live in Tennessee about 250 miles from Knoxville. One of the bank managers and a teller asked me about the crime. When I told them a few of the details, both literally gasped in horror.

David From TN