Archive for 04/05/2010

Vanessa Coleman Has A Date With Lady Justice

04/05/2010 4 comments

Those of you familiar with my blogging know I have been following the Christian-Newsom murder trials since the first ‘guest entry’ by David From Tennessee at Trials & Tribulations.

Something about those beautiful young adults, who were so full of life and had such bright futures ahead of them, touched my heart, profoundly.

The carjacking at gunpoint, repeated savage rapes, the horrific beatings, and brutal murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom left most of us grieving in stunned disbelief.

As difficult as these trials have been – it never gets easier to watch – I’ve made a commitment to honor the memory of Channon and Chris and to support the Christian and Newsom families by telling their story.  In some small way, I hope it helps.

Channon and Chris’s parents have stoically endured countless hearings and the trials of Eric Boyd (sentenced to 18 years – accessory after the fact), Letalvis Cobbins (life without parole), Lemaricus Davidson (death by lethal injection), and George Thomas (life without parole).  We are now facing the imminent trial of the only female defendant in the case, Vanessa Coleman. Coleman was Letalvis Cobbins’ girlfriend and 18-years old at the time these atrocities were committed.

Charges against Coleman include:

12 counts of felony murder growing out of the rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom

1 count of premeditated murder (of Christian only)

1 count of especially aggravated robbery (of Newsom only)

4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping

20 counts of aggravated rape

2 counts of theft.

In a stunning revelation at a March 4 hearing, it was revealed that Coleman might have kept a journal that chronicled the horrendous crimes.

Judge 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 released to the 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.

Jury questionnaires should be going out at the end of this week, however it is not known where the jury will be pulled from.  It is believed that Lavit and Greene have asked for a jury from outside of Knoxville.

Opening arguments are to begin May 3. The trial will be streamed live.

For those of you unfamiliar with the case and wish to know more of the background, the Knoxville News Sentinel produced an excellent video last year, detailing the case.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Due to the repeated lies and contradictions from all the defendants, we will never know exactly what happened that weekend at the ‘House of Horrors’. WATE pieced together a fairly good timeline of the events, as we know them.

Though most folks I know claim it gave them a headache,  January 31, 2007 Police Interview with Vanessa Coleman.

Knox News