Home > Crime > Vanessa Coleman Retrial Day 5

Vanessa Coleman Retrial Day 5


The State rested Friday evening after 4 days.  Today, the defense will present their case.  I’m betting not a whole lot there.  Last go round the only witnesses were Greg and Linda Coleman, Nessa’s parents.

I hope the jury got some much need down time over the weekend and had time to reflect on Coleman’s story changes over the course of the nine interviews.  It went from, ‘I don’t know anything, I wasn’t there’ to admitting, she was left alone in the house with Channon while the thugs went out to murder Chris.  And, her diary pretty much blows the, ‘ I was only 18 and scared for my life,’ theory right out of the water!

Judge Blackwood takes the bench.  Court stated a bit earlier today and the families are still filing into court while the defense asks for Vanessa to be acquitted.

Lavit is asking for acquittal on all charges.  He’s droning on about the evidence does not sustain conviction.

Blackwood swears in Coleman and she states she refuses to testify.

9:12 Jury brought in.

Greg Coleman called, Vanessa’s father.

Greg tells the court he was not aware Vanessa traveled to TN on 12/28/2006.  He found out Vanessa was in TN on the day Cobbins and Thomas were arrested.

Jan 16 he and his wife and two daughters drove to Knoxville.  His wife, daughters Aja and Vanessa had been subpoenaed.

Q. What were you told by Det. Childress?

Objection, hearsay and off we go to the bench.

This isn’t moving along very well because it keeps going to hearsay.

When Vanessa was interviewed, his wife was in the room.  Greg was just in the building.

Waggoner, Childress, Greg, Vanessa, and another detective drove around Knoxville for Vanessa for her to point out locations.  Greg claims Vanessa couldn’t know how to get to the locations they visited.

They returned to the Federal building and interviewed Vanessa again.  That interview lasted around 2 hours.

On the 24th, Waggoner called and offered protective custody because her name and photo was shown on Knoxville TV.

On the 25th, Vanessa and her mother went into protective custody.

After two days, they wanted to go home so Greg drove down to get them.

On the 31st police showed up again to do another interview.  LE had an indictment with them but didn’t tell her till after the interview that’s what Lavit wants jury to recall.

Witness passed to Price.

Price asking if he knew where Hays’ house was & how long it would take to drive there.  Greg says about 15 minutes.

Price is asking Greg Coleman if he “loves his daughter very much and would do anything to help” Vanessa. Greg replies “yes, sir.”

From Jan.11-16 Vanessa stayed with friends & cousins not at home.

Price asks if he wanted Vanessa to stay at his house.  Greg replies I wanted her to stay with me but she was a young 18 yr old woman of age and wanted to stay with friends & cousins.

Linda Coleman called.

Were you aware Vanessa came to Knoxville?  No

When did you speak with her?  New Years Eve. (So Vanessa had access to a phone while in Knoxville!)

Linda Coleman thought Vanessa was a witness for the state, even though she was in federal protective custody.

Agents brought them to a hotel for protection. Vanessa’s mom says that they heard something outside the Hotel room while they were in witness protection so the decided to leave because they thought they’d get better protection at home than they would in witness protection.

Linda was not aware Vanessa was dating Letalvis Cobbins, did not know George Thomas, Natosha Hayes, Stacy Lawson.

Did Vanessa have common sense? “Well…sometimes.”

Vanessa “stayed” with Natosha Hays between Oct and Nov 2006. Went between aunt’s, parent’s & Hays’ house.

Takisha drives home the point that after the crimes, Coleman bounced from house to house didn’t stay with parents and never indicated to them she was afraid of the people she was hanging with.

Takisha is kicking butt here and mama is getting an attitude.

Your observation of your daughter around her friends did you feel she was in danger?  Not really.

But if you did, you would have snatched your child up and gotten her out of there wouldn’t you?  Yes.

Defense rests and recess called.

Not that the defense has much to work with, the parent’s testimony really did nothing to bolster Colemans’s case.

BTW, Linda lied on the stand originally saying she didn’t know Natosha, didn’t recognize her picture, or knew where she lived!


Takisha is laying out the timeline of events for the jury.

Our plan was to first establish the crime and then establish Coleman’s role. “We believe we’ve done that.”

We also intended to show that Channon’s death was a premeditated killing.”

When the guys left the house to get money and had a gun, Coleman could have left and walked to the convenient store, but she didn’t.


So the evidence…

Objection…sidebar and jury sent out.

Lavit raising hell over the Kroger receipt showing Coleman knew her way around Knoxville.

Takisha is rip-roaring mad.

Lavit is a pita and it’s rude to keep interrupting the closing argument.

Jury back…

Judge tells the jury to “disregard” the argument about Kroger receipt…so Lavit won that one.

Takisha arguing that there’s no way Christian did not scream during rapes and there’s no way Coleman didn’t hear anything.

Imagine how Channon’s hope is destroyed when she realized Ms Coleman wasn’t going to help.

Next morning Coleman cooks oatmeal, biscuits, sausage…imagine what Channon felt.  If you’ve ever cooked sausage you know you can here and smell it while it’s cooking.

Takisha is just amazing…doing all the dates, times and story off the top of her head, no notes.  She is really bringing it on!

When cops show up at discovery of Chris’ body, all Coleman had to do was walk outside and tell army of police officers to save her if she was so scared.

They (including Coleman) go out to the store to get cigarettes and a candy bar…she has been the witness of a woman being raped brutally and she’s thinking about eating a candy bar.

If it weren’t for Vanessa Coleman those 3 men could not have taken Chris Newsom to the train tracks.

Substantial assistance? You will not get a legal definition. It’s common sense. It’s for you to decide… think about it from Channon’s perspective, she could have been free, but Coleman was her captor.

The most telling thing in this case is what she put in that diary.

Just because she’s young that doesn’t give her a pass says, Coleman is responsible for facilitating murder and rape of Christian.

Totally amazing closing!

Lavit Closing

Mere presence is not basis to convict anyone of a crime in any court in America. Nor should you on guilt by association.

Coleman was interviewed 9 times by skilled officers. She provided ammunition to proceed against these other killers.

The story didn’t change, it’s the same story, the questions changed, and she just provided additional information.

“This 18 year old girl never knew nothing about this crew’s plans.”

Good lord, Lavit is screaming at the jury.

They’ve got the burden of proof. “Where is it, where is it!” he shouts.

Lavit using lots of obfuscation…

Coleman “wasn’t a player” on this killing team. “They didn’t trust her”

Coleman said 8 out of 9 times in interviews she never saw Newsom.

Chris “wasn’t bound in that house cause he had to be able to walk to those railroad tracks.”

Lavit arguing the 4 men in 4 Runner seen by Xavier Jenkins were Chris, Davidson, Thomas, and Boyd, leaving Cobbins with Coleman and Channon.

I want you do judge this fairly. Coleman was just caught up in something because of her mere presence.

I wish Vanessa didn’t touch the sheets; I wish she wasn’t made to take the pulse.

What substantial assistance did she give in committing these crimes? Where’s the evidence?

Remember Daphne? She was the white girl. Her uncle works for KPD. She was there. She wasn’t indicted. Let’s be fair. ” She aided and abetted Davidson but she “got away.”

The state’s case is a whole lot of fury signifying nothing.

Coleman has never been in trouble.

Journal doesn’t mention crimes. And she was never interviewed about the journal. It just shows the immature words of 18 yr old. Journal was written under watchful eye of Cobbins. The journal was her way of processing what she witnessed.

Judge looking at his watch.

Lavit tries to quote Genesis…lol


Now, he’s on to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird…omg, pulease… Tom Robinson was at wrong place at wrong time Lavit says as he tries to parallel Coleman’s case.

He’s done…btw, his closing was fraught with out-and-out lies!

12:38 lunch is called.  On return, State will offer rebuttal.


Court should have resumed at 1:15…now 1:35  and the doors are still locked! Not sure what’s up.


 Leland Price to wrap up.

Price thanks the jury for their time.

Actions speak louder than words.

He wants them to think about what Coleman did/did not do vs. what she said.

Stacy Lawson tried to get Coleman to leave. “Nobody stopped her. Nobody would have stopped Coleman.”

When Daphne left, she left on foot!

Coleman saw the 4 Runner, she knew what was going on.  She’s 18, not 2!

Coleman hears them in the bedroom tearing those sheets into strips and tying her up….It wasn’t just a rape….this was brutality.

Channon’s screams had to be knocking off the walls of that house.

The defense would have you believe no one was telling her anything, but Cobbins told her he held Chris at gunpoint.

It’s not like nobody is telling Vanessa Coleman what’s going on….they trusted her.

Coleman hears Lemaricus Davidson tell Thomas she’s a rich white girl who doesn’t want to die.

They brought all of Cahnnon’s stuff from the 4 Runner into the house…Coleman claims she didn’t know it was stolen yet she put Channon’s stuff in the red purse. Coleman knew exactly what was going on the whole time. To say she didn’t know anything is absurd.

There was one hostage. One. Not two, but one…Vanessa Coleman wasn’t a hostage. She had so many chances to leave.

Coleman made no attempt to get away, no calls to parents, went to Walmart and didnt ask for help.

Back in KY, Stacy and Vanessa go to get food after crimes but don’t go to police station, which is close by. Instead line up alibi. Coleman tries to get Stacy Lawson to lie about when they left Knoxville.

Price is pounding through all Coleman’s inconsistent statements given after the killers already locked up.

Coleman tried to cover up for Cobbins. The 28th was first time she told authorities about Rome’s role in burning the body.  She’s not cooperating, she’s being false and lying.

Now Coleman suddenly admits she touched the body.  Why?  Because she knows the items will be tested. Coleman cooked up the pulse checking thing be cause she knew her DNA would be on Channon’s bindings.

Price onto the diary now. What better way to get in her mind, to know what she’s thinking than by looking at her journal? It was an adventure for her, for Chris and Channon you know it was a complete nightmare.

Leland is done.

Judge now going over charges and reading instructions to the jury.

3:14 reading of instructions is done.

That’s it folks, jury officially deliberating and we are on verdict watch!

  1. ritanita
    11/19/2012 at 4:18 pm

    And the wait begins!

  2. Tim
    11/19/2012 at 9:18 pm

    I 1st found out about this story about a year ago by accident. The media is as much of a poison than the killers. At 1st the brutality of it all lead me to beleive it was a hoax. There is no way in hell anyone can make me beleive this was not racially motivated. That much hate against 2 people you don’t even know has to be a hate crime. Drugs? No! I don’t buy the theory that people can’t get that high yet carry out these events for hours while on drugs. The parents of the victims are a rock. I can’t imagine.

  3. donchais
    11/20/2012 at 6:29 am

    Tim, there is no evidence this was a hate crime. It was a pack of vicious thugs with criminal backgrounds that stepped way over the line. Even the parents have publicly stated this was not a hate crime!

  4. 11/20/2012 at 6:59 am

    Yes, if I were a parent of Christian/Newsum, I would be helping Coleman get released…
    I’m sure someone is waiting to hang her ugly rear !!!!!

  5. David In TN
    11/20/2012 at 9:57 am

    Lavit injected race into the case in both his opening and closing (“Remember Daphne? She was the white girl”) statements.

    “She provided ammunition to proceed against these other killers.” Yes, Davidson, Cobbins, and Thomas were the “other” killers. Coleman was the fourth killer.

    Chris “wasn’t bound in that house cause he had to be able to walk to those railroad tracks.” Chris didn’t “walk” to the tracks. He was dragged with his bare feet bound by a belt and ligature.

    By the way, Cobbins will have a hearing today at 10 am. He wants a new lawyer. Maybe a visit with Coleman can be arranged.

  6. donchais
    11/20/2012 at 10:52 am

    Agreed David! The Cobbins hearing was a total waste of time…he has the same attorney who is legally bound to him. The best moment was when Gary said loud enough to be heard, ‘wa wa wa…crybaby!”

  7. leash
    11/27/2012 at 11:03 am

    The carjacking, rape, torture, and murder of Channon and Chris leaves my heart shattered….families so broken…because of ? Crack? Crystal meth? Mom’s boyfriend? Slavery? Everybody has a story. As a member of this society, as mother, as a dauhter, as a sister, as a Christian, who follows the law of the land, pays taxes, I wonder,” What the fuck do we do with these tortueous rapist murderers?”

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