Home > Crime > Christian/Newsom Murders – George Thomas Retrial, Day 2

Christian/Newsom Murders – George Thomas Retrial, Day 2


The families have arrived and are seated.

Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 9.10.44 AMThomas brought in.

Defense setting up

Judge Kurtz takes the bench at 9:13.

Well, we have a good picture, but no sound!

Jury brought in.

Mary Newsom is testifying to what happened that day and said when Deena Christian called and said Channon hadn’t shown up for work and they got really scared.

They tried calling Chris’ cell, but got no answer.

They stayed up all night.  Police came by to get DNA for Chris.

On Monday police came and told them they had found Chris’ body.  They were devastated.

Mary identifies Chris’ sneakers, his baseball cap, his wallet, his belt that is badly burned.

Price shows photos of Chris’s belongings removed from the Chipman Street house.

Deena Christian takes the stand.

Deena talks about Channon’s education.  Dating Chris.

Channon had a cell phone and her 4 Runner.

TaKisha asks Deena about the day of January 6.

She helped Channon pick out what she was going to wear to Jamie’s party that night.  Channon packed the clothes in a bag to take over to Kara’s apartment.

Deena knew Channon intended sleep over at Kara’s.

Channon called home around 12:35 and said plans had changed and she was coming home, but Channon never showed up.

Deena called Channon’s cell numerous times Sunday morning, but it went to voice mail.

Around 3pm Channon’s boss called and said she never showed up for work.

They called the hospitals and the jail, but nobody knew of Channon.

The police told her they weren’t going to look for Channon and to look by themselves.

She called the Newsoms’ and then they went driving looking for Channon.  Deena had been able to get the last ping for Channon cell so the knew to look in the Cheery Street tower area.

When the vehicle was found, Deena drove over and gave the police the keys to Channon’s SUV.  The car stickers and license plate were missing.  The car was cleaned out and the front seats were pushed all the way.

TaKisha shows photos of Channon’s vehicle that Deena identified.  Now photos of items of clothing taken from Chipman.  Deena also identifies jewelry and other personal items.

TaKisha now showing clothing that Channon packed to go to the party.  Deena identifies all of them.

Defense has no questions.

State calls Linda Littlejohn.  TBI Crime Lab Microanalysis.  Shoe prints and fiber analysis expert.

Littlejohn analyzed the floral and pink fabric from the crime scenes and autopsies.

She identified the pieces of fabric and says they came from what appears to be curtain and be set.

Davidson ripped up a sheet and curtains and those strips were used to bind Channon and Chris.

Dillard on cross…

What other analysis was down on the fabric.  Another examiner did DNA serology.

Do you know which exhibit?  The autopsy fabric.

What were they looking for?  You have to ask them.

Asking her stuff she couldn’t possibly know!

Was the fabric cut or torn?  Could have been either, I didn’t test for that.

Well if ripped, it would have DNA on it?  That’s not my area.

Witness released.

Break called…

Kimberly Elkins, Knoxville Credit Union.  Has bank account records for Chris.

Jan. 6 Chris withdrew $100.  $561.80 was left in the account.

No questions from defense.

Barbara Thomas called.  Ist TN Bank.  Channon’s bank.

205.20 left after a credit transaction on Jan. 6.

No questions from defense.

Taylor Shadix called.  Knows Daphne Sutton, Kayla Trout, Cassie Suttles all worked together at Sonic.

She knew Lemaricus Davidson because he was dating Daphne.  Identifies a photo of him.

Says Daphne and Davidson lived together at Chipman Street.

Daphne moved out in December.  She stayed at Cassie’s and her parents.

Davidson was calling her looking for Daphne on Jan. 7.  She called Daphne and let her know ‘Slim” was looking for her.

Davidson showed up at her house and asked to stay over, she said no.

Davidson showed up and she gave him a ride to where Daphne was.

Daphne Sutton called.  She dated Davidson starting Sept. 2006.

She and Davidson rented the house on Chipman Street.

They started arguing and he got physical so she left around Thanksgiving.  She came back in December and the trouble began again.

She met Letalvis, George, Stacy, and Blue from Lebanon, KY because they came to stay at Chipman.

She moved all the furniture from the house.

Did you meet Vanessa Coleman?  Yes.

Friday, Jan 5 they got into a fight and Davidson choked her and threw her against the wall.  Nobody did anything to help her.

She left and called Cassie to pick her up and she stayed there.

Sunday, Lemaricus called looking for her.

She went to Chipman because she thought Davidson had a girl in the house. She noticed Davidson had a blanket over the bedroom door that had never been there.

She tried to get to the bathroom to get her makeup.  Davidson wouldn’t let her and said Vanessa was in there.

She saw Letalvis and George sitting in the house.

Davidson gave her a bag of clothes and she left back to Cassie.  She started going through the clothes.  She saw a red skirt and the clothes weren’t new.  She called and asked him about them and he said he thought she would like them.

Twice, Davidson showed up and was driving the 4 Runner.

She gave Davidson the clothes back,

The last call she had with him was when she went to pick him up.  He had shoes on that looked too small and she had never seen them before.

Chris’ sneakers!

They drove to where Davidson’s friend Vince left money to buy drugs.

They all stayed at Cassie’s.

On Tuesday she found out from her mother a dead female was found in the Chipman Street house.  She told him he had to leave.  She picked up his jacket and found his keys and a gun.

They drove him to a place near the park.

TaKisha shows her the sneakers and the red skirt that she identifies.

She identifies Davidson’s gun.

Her neighbor, Rhonda, introduced Ethel Lynn Freeman to them.  Ethel would buy drug from Davidson.

They helped Ethel move and she gave Daphne a bedroom set and some pink curtains that Daphne identifies.

She identifies the garbage can Channon was found in.

TaKisha is showing a video of the Chipman Street house.  Daphne points out the gas can was out of place.  She doesn’t recall the gun sings being there.  Says there was never in the bathroom.

Says the garbage can was never kept in the kitchen, it was kept in the back room.

Dillard on cross…

When you met Mr.Thomas, he wasn’t a family member?  No

The only one in the house that had a phone was Mr. Davidson?  Yes.

Did Mr. Thomas have a phone?  No.

Did he have a car?  No.

Did you ever see Mr. Thomas with a gun?  No.

Dillard is spending a whole lot of cross on Davidson’s actions which has nothing to do with Thomas!

Did you ever see Mr. Thomas again?  No, just in the house.

12:25 Lunch called….

Court resumes at 1:35…

Cassie Suttles on the stand.  She remembers going to Chipman Street to pick up some of Daphne’s things.  Daphne went into the house and was there for maybe 10 minutes and she came out carrying a sears bag.

Sunday Davidson called and later showed up in the 4 Runner.

Monday Davidson showed up and said his brother had his keys and he was locked out.  He spent the night.

The next day is when Daphne’s mother called about the woman’s body found at Chipman.

They gave Davidson a ride to a park.

Witness passed….

Johnson on cross…

When you took Daphne to the house, you stayed in the car?  Yes.

You could see all the way into the house?  Yes.

When Davidson came over in the 4 Runner, you couldn’t see who else was in the car?  No.

You didn’t see Mr. Thomas at all?  No.

After Daphne spoke to her mother she got upset with Davidson and told him he had to leave.

None of you called the police and say you knew where Davidson was?  No.

TaKisha asked why she didn’t call the police?  I was young and naive.

Witness released.

Charlie Lee called. KPD.  Helped with the investigation.  Collected the clothing items at Cassie’s apartment.

Witness passed…

Dillard on cross…

What did you do with the jeans?  An investigator collected them.

Witness released.

State calls Gerald Smith.  KPD.  He was with the forensic unit and documented with photography and collected crime scene evidence.

Jan. 11 he was called to Reynolds Street.  This was a vacant house where Davidson was hiding out in.  Smith documented the items Davidson had in the house.

He identifies photos he took that day.

He identifies the gun found at the house.  And Chris’s sneakers found at the house.

No defense questions.

Patricia Resig is called. KPD firearm examiner.

She examined the two guns.  The 22 was test fired and it functioned properly.

Another 22 was received with the cylinder separate.  Test firing showed it to misfire at times.

She identifies 5 fired cartridges that came from the 22 she examined.

She identifies several more fired cartridges that were removed from Chris’ body.

One of the bullets was too damaged to say it was fired by the same gun.

She also visited the Chipman Street house and took measurements of all the rooms.  The entire house was approximately 805 square feet.

Using rope, she marks off the dimensions of the house inside the courtroom.  It doesn’t even take up the whole court.  Very, very tiny house…no way you could miss what was going on in that house particularly because there where no interior doors!

Witness passed.

Dillard on cross…

Dillard asks to see her report.

Where did you get the gun from that you test fired?  Chain of custody from Gerald Smith.

Were the cartridges tested for fingerprints?  I don’t know.

You couldn’t tell when the last time it was fired?  No.

Break called…

State calls Randal Nelson.  TBI forensic scientist.  Does chemical analysis.

He received a white tank top to determine what caused the stains.  He tested the areas and found there was bleach on the shirt.

He identifies a copy of his report, as well as the white shirt.

Witness passed…

Dillard asks to read his report…geez!

No questions.

State calls Jody Long.  She knew Vince Wornamock.  She used to buy drugs from him.

He asked her to take some people to Kentucky. He gave her gas money and drugs in payment.

She picked up Cobbins, Coleman, and Thomas.

She’s sketchy on details because she was a heavy druggie.

There wasn’t a whole lot of conversation in the car.

She drove about four hours to get to Lebanon and drop them off.  They unloaded stuff and took it into a white house.

She turned around and drove back to Vince’s.

She identifies Thomas as one of the people she drove.

Witness passed.

Johnson on cross…

You said you thought this trip was on a Monday and Tuesday, but you don’t remember when in January 2007?  No.

Do you remember testifying in and earlier proceeding?  Yes.

You weren’t able to say in earlier testimony when exactly it was?  No.

Witness released.

Bernard Waggoner called.  ATF agent.

Price asks to approach.  I recall this being a bit dicey last time.

Jan 10 he was advised of what had happened and he was sent from Knoxville to Kentucky that night.

Jan 11 ATF and other LE met with the Lebanon PD to discuss what they were going to do.

They found Stacy Lawson and took he to the police department.  They then went to Natosha ‘Blue’ Hayes house.  They surrounded the house and announced over speaker for all of them to come out.

Natosha and Vanessa came out and the Cobbins came out with his hands up.

Thomas refused to come out.  He finally did come out and was arrested and take to the police department.

Waggoner helped secure the house and then went to the police department.

He watched Coleman, Hayes, and Thomas while they waited in the hallway.

All the suspects were interviewed.

He later went back to Hayes’ house and searched the residence.

He identifies photos of the house.

Photo shown of the red purse belonging to Vanessa.  The contents contain a bunch of Channon’s stuff.

He also picked a 22 caliber gun found in Kentucky in a box under the bed.  Natosha said she found it on the 12th while cleaning.  It was turned over to KDP.

It is believed Vanessa stashed it there.

He also searched the Chipman Street house.

He knew KPD had searched the house a few days earlier.

He identified the bleach bottle found at the Chipman house.

While in the house, he found what appeared to be a 22 caliber bullet hole in the living room wall and a larger caliber bullet hole in the living room ceiling.

Witness passed…

Dillard on cross…

Where you able to determine where Mr. Thomas slept in the Hayes’ house?  Yes, in the loft bedroom.

Was that Natosha’s room?  Yes.

Do you find a gun in that room?  No.

Any bullets?  No.

The room where the firearm was found, who was staying in that room?  Coleman and Cobbins.

The bullet holes at Chipman, you don’t know when the occurred?  No.

They could have been from years ago?  I wouldn’t say they were that old.

Witness released.

Clint Green from AT&T called.

He details phone records for Mary Ncatee from Kentucky and Ramona Lawson.

Stacy Lawson and Mary… show Mary was the account holder and Stacy was a user.  The last call was Jan 4, the phone was cut off on Jan 7.

No defense questions.

State calls Ashley Goins from US Cellular.

She identifies records for Deena Christian.

Jan 7 there is a call at 4:05 am and it is a voicemail call. A call at 12:33 am also.

Pass the witness…

No defense questions.

State calls Isaac Ndiaye from US Cellular.  Designs networks of radio frequency towers.

His testimony basically explains the whole cell phone pinging routine.  As boring as it is, it is how they found Channon.

No defense questions, witness released.

Price asks to approach…

5:06 court ends and will resume at 9 am.

  1. 05/14/2013 at 6:12 pm

    Donchais, again, I thnk you. I was waiting for this today because I was interrupted by things i had to accomplish in real life. I glad the JA trial,is almost over because I can’t do both. I don’t know how you will. I knew relatively nothing about this case until you brought it to my attention , when I followed up I think I remembered seeing a documentary about it a while back, maybe on Dateline?, it is a horrendous crime. I need to read more to fully understand how it all went down and how the arrests happened etc. and that first Judge? Pfftt. I have no words.
    Have a good evening… See you tomorrow. . 🙂

  2. truejustice
    05/14/2013 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks, I missed this morning .. but honestly everything moving so fast hard to keep up. Your summary put it all together for me !

  3. Lisa M
    05/14/2013 at 10:24 pm

    Donchais u are very strong to cover this trial. This has to be the most horrific crime I’ve ever heard of. My God there are no words. Canny just remind me of where the other perpetrators are right now? Did they get the DP?

    • Lisa M
      05/14/2013 at 10:25 pm

      I meant can you , not canny.

  4. Lisa M
    05/14/2013 at 10:29 pm

    I read a little bit about the case online. Looks like only one got the DP.

  5. LadyinRed
    05/14/2013 at 11:01 pm

    Praying for the jury and a guilty verdict … East TN needs to heal from this horrific tragedy.

  6. David In TN
    05/14/2013 at 11:51 pm

    There have been SEVEN trials in this case counting the one going on now. Eric Boyd was convicted in 2008 in federal court of being an accessory to carjacking by aiding Davidson after the fact. Everyone believes that Boyd took part in the carjacking and bringing them back to the house, but he’s never been charged in the murders.

    Why? Boyd was clever enough not to admit to being in the Chipman Street house.

  7. 05/15/2013 at 9:45 am

    Why oh why does the judge not make these witnesses use these criminals real names??? ugh so frustrating! Its crazy!

  8. 05/15/2013 at 10:00 am

    I mean as far as using “g” for George Thomas. Why would the lawyer not say “g” ? Do you mean George Thomas? That way the jury is CLEAR she is talking about him!

  9. HJ Madison
    05/15/2013 at 6:42 pm

    Dear Donchais: I tried to come back for the ME testimony but I simply did not have the heart for it. Listened about 10 minutes talking about Chris’ remains and just could not take more. Thank you for all that you do!

  10. donchais
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