Yesterday, the appeals court decided not to take up the appeal by prosecutors and the AG’s office requesting a reversal of Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood order; a ruling which clears the way for Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas to receive new trials for the kidnap, rape, torture and murders of 21 year-old Channon Christian and 23, year-old Chris Newsom, five years ago.
Its gonna be slim pickins from the bottom of the juror barrel for these retrials!
What I fail to comprehend is why are the verdicts of three separate juries being invalidated? Weeks of listening to some of the most horrific testimony, viewing disturbing photographs, and giving up their lives to perform their duty has just been rubbished.
Is it ok not to review the trial transcripts to ascertain if legal errors were indeed made or that the trials were indeed tainted and unfair? Yes, the TBI report was 1200 pages of Baumgartner’s bad behavior, but I sincerely doubt it delved into legal decisions made in these trials.
So what gives? Is this a situation of its a hot, political potato so we’re just gonna bury our heads in the sand?
Additionally, the refusal to take up the appeal has just effectively opened the floodgates, as many of Baumgartner’s one-time convicted suspects can receive new trials.
It will be years and gazillions of bucks before Knox County recovers from this boondoggle. Worse, the Christian and Newsom families will never recover and will continue to be tortured!
As last reported the retrials are scheduled:
June 11 for Lemaricus Davidson
August 27 for Letalvis Cobbins
October 22 for George Thomas
November 12 for Vanessa Coleman
Lemaricus Davidson, supposed ringleader in the Christian-Newsom murders, pleaded guilty to robbing a Knoxville Pizza Hut at a hearing held on Tuesday. The robbery occurred the day Chris Newsom’s body was found.
Davidson robbed the Pizza Hut at gunpoint and also attempted to steal a woman’s purse. He pleaded guilty to Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon. He has been sentenced to concurrently serve 8 years for the robbery and 3 years for the assault.
After being arrested in connection with the Christian-Newsom murders, Davidson had admitted to police he had robbed the Pizza Hut.
There is still no decision by the Appellate Court whether retrials for Davidson, Cobbins, and Thomas will be allowed to move forward. Davidson was sentenced to death for his part in the deaths of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.