Home > Crime > Vanessa Coleman – 53 Years In The Christian-Newsom Case

Vanessa Coleman – 53 Years In The Christian-Newsom Case


In what’s been, I’m sure, an eternity for the families of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, they will finally see the last of the 5 vile monsters sentenced today.

These vibrant young adults, who had so much potential and such a bright future ahead of them, were brutally carjacked, tortured, raped and murdered in January 2007.

Deena and Gary Christian and Mary and Hugh Newsom have spent the better part of the last 3 1/2 years stoically monitoring legal proceedings against the five convicted perpetrators of these gruesome crimes against their kids.

Coleman brought into court

Some issues prior to the sentencing include scheduling of hearings on motions for new trials: Cobbins 1/28, Davidson 2/19, Thomas, 3/25, Coleman 5/27.  So, let’s waste a ton more of the taxpayers dollars on these P’sOS!  As Coleman is not a death penalty case, the State will only pay for one attorney and that will be Lavitt.

So the final criminal, Vanessa Coleman, learns her fate.  Her parents and sister have traveled from Kentucky for the sentencing and Nessa has a big smile for them!

Impact statements were so amazingly powerful and brought many to tears.  Even though we have been here before, I witnessed far more anger today.

Deena lashed out about Nessa’s journal which proved she enjoyed the crimes.

Gary wears his anger on his face

Gary was eloquent in stating how the public saw so much evil in what was done to Channon and Chris and also read from Coleman’s journal.

Coleman and her attorney’s decided it was not in Coleman’s best interest to make a statement.

Most of us who have followed this story were shocked and disappointed when the jury – brought in from Nashville – obviously didn’t ‘get it’ and only found Coleman guilty on 17 counts of facilitation.  Remember, it was this jury who asked for definitions of ‘Criminal Responsibility’ and ‘Perpetration of a Crime’!

In a sentencing memorandum earlier this month, Leland Price argued for the maximum punishment claiming Coleman was a dangerous offender with little or no regard for human life.

If Judge Richard Baumgartner agrees and stacks the sentences and orders them served consecutively, that would be a total of 77 years in prison!

The defense say Coleman should be classified a “mitigated offender” and deserves no more than 14 years in prison – she has already been behind bars more than three years.

In preparation of a presentence report, Coleman said, “she was influenced by bad guys.”

In their sentencing memorandum, her attorneys portray Coleman as being, “in the wrong place at the wrong time. Due to her youth and inexperience in life, she trusted the wrong people and ended up in a situation she did not know how to escape from.”

Baumgartner states (paraphrasing), everyone recognizes Coleman’s culpability is different from the other defendants and the jury considered the mitigating factors.  She substantially assisted the other to carry out the assaults and rapes.

Judge Baumgartner clearly distressed

Coleman was allowed the benefit of the mitigating factors by the jury and should not get the benefits again.  Channon was treated with horrific, exceptional cruelty.  It’s difficult to comprehend.  Based on the size of the house Ms. Coleman had to be aware of what was going on and did nothing to stop them.

As for her age, Vanessa “was a street smart young lady.”  “This is not young, naive young lady” judge says.  She had no regard for human life!

This is the most shocking crime I have ever encountered! This is not a person who is scared to death.

The Judge calls this incomprehensible and there is no sentence that’s appropriate!

I’ve no doubt the honorable Judge Richard Baumgartner carefully reviewed all the facts and gave a just decision in sentencing Coleman to 53 years!  The Judge merged many of the charges which was certainly expected.

Nothing will ever bring these kids home to their families nor erase the horrific images burned into our memories, but I hope and pray Channon and Chris may now rest in peace and their families have at least some measure of closure.

Thanks ritanita for screen shots!


  1. Ritanita
    07/30/2010 at 1:46 pm

    I am so relieved that this portion of the ordeal is over. I would have liked the 77 years, but 53 will do the trick. ‘Nessa won’t be eligible for parole until she’s served 1/3 of her 25 year sentence. Few people are paroled on the first go-round and I doubt she will either. Also, she’ll have to show responsibility for her actions and remorse. I haven’t seen any of that yet and I doubt she will grow a conscience that soon, if ever.

    She’s in for the long haul.

    Thank you, Judge Baumgartner for your comments during the sentencing.

  2. donchais
    07/30/2010 at 2:05 pm

    It has been a long process and I am also pleased with the Judge’s sentence.

    He also mentioned that Mr. Boyd may still bear additional culpability so, they still have an open investigation!

  3. tezi
    07/30/2010 at 6:36 pm

    I could not believe that I read that Vanessa was smirking while the Christians were on the stand speaking about their loss! She’s a piece of work, that’s for sure.

    I really like how Channon’s parents threw Vanessa’s own words out of her journal back at her!

    I think the State of Tennessee will file charges against Boyd. He got 18 years on the Federal charge of carjacking right? I think Boyd deserves the DP just like Davidson received.

    This was one the worst crimes I have ever read about. I have had many sleepless nights after watching testimony and reading about it. I can’t even begin to imagine how the Christians and Newsoms cope.

    I am still angry that the jury “didn’t get it” in regards to Vanessa. But, at least Judge Baumgartner did.

  4. David From TN
    07/30/2010 at 7:50 pm

    I was in the courtroom today. Your account is right on target. I saw Coleman smile at wink at her family just before leaving the courtroom after being sentenced to 53 years in prison.

  5. 07/31/2010 at 1:27 am

    I’m at a loss for words. Thanks for the coverage.

  1. No trackbacks yet.
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: