Home > Crime > Christian/Newsom Murders – George Thomas Retrial, Day 3

Christian/Newsom Murders – George Thomas Retrial, Day 3


Screen shot 2013-05-15 at 9.04.52 AMJudge Kurtz on the bench at 9:03 am.

Verizon rep, Karen Milbrodt, record custodian.

She has the records for Chris Newsom.  Jan 7, 2:19 am the phone was used to access the web.  A call was made at 2:10 am.

Witness passed.

Dillard on cross…

When the phone accesses data, what does that mean?  The phone has a browser so the web was accessed.

You don’t know he did it?  No.

Witness released.

Next a Sprint rep, Ryan Harger, custodian of records.

The records are for Lemaricus Davidson.

Several outbound calls were placed on Jan 7 and 8th and a few incoming calls are detailed. This activity was with Daphne Sutton.

No questions from the defense.

Stacy Lawson is called.  She drove Thomas, Cobbins, and Coleman to Chipman from Lebanon, KY.  She was George Thomas’ girlfriend.

She dated Thomas for about a year.

They stayed at Chipman Street in the beginning of December 2006 overnight.

The second time she went to Knoxville was December 14, they stayed for 3 days.

On that trip, they all helped move Ethel Freeman.

Lawson says the Chipman Street was so tiny that you could hear everything that was going on in the house and there were no doors in the house.

December 28 she drove Thomas, Cobbins, and Coleman to Chipman from Lebanon, KY.

On New Years Eve, they went outside at midnight and shot off guns.  She shot Lemaricus’ black revolver.  Cobbins owned the silver revolver.  She never saw Thomas shoot a gun.

She and Davidson got into argument and Davidson pointed the assault rifle in her face.  It upset her enough she decided to go home.  She asked Thomas, Cobbins and Coleman to go home with her.  They all said they wanted to stay.  Lawson left for Kentucky Jan 2.

Lawson placed Daphne at the house on Jan 2.  She tried calling Thomas.  Her cell phone was cut off on Jan 4.

She spoke to Thomas on the 10th and he was back in Lebanon and staying at Natosha’s with Cobbins and Coleman.  She went over and said they all looked like they were scared.  Thomas wouldn’t tell her anything.

Thomas, Cobbins, and Natosha were watching the Knoxville New online and she saw Davidson and Cobbins were shown as suspects.

She asked Thomas what happened and he wouldn’t say anything.

On the 11th police questioned her about the whereabouts of Thomas, Cobbins, and Coleman.  She originally lied and said she didn’t know, but quickly changed her mind and told them they were at Natosha’s house.

She identifies photos of the house on Chipman and Natosha’s house.

Gary’s doing his angry rocking in his seat.

She identifies the two revolvers and the assault riffle.

Witness passed…

Dillard on cross…

You met George Thomas through Cobbins?  Yes.

When did you meet George Thomas?  January ’06.

George Thomas didn’t have a cell phone?  No.

A car?  No.

A gun?  No.

On New Years Eve when you were shooting, did Mr. Thomas shoot?  No.

Witness released.

State calls Natosha Hayes, also known as Blue.

She met Thomas through Cobbins.

She also made several trips to Knoxville and knows the whole cast of characters.

She also helped move Ethel Freeman.

Cobbins, Coleman, and Thomas arrived at her house in Lebanon saying things didn’t work out in Knoxville.

She recalls Thomas using the computer at her house.

She said one night she and Thomas were sitting in the kitchen and Thomas had some coins and bullets on the table.  She asked what they were for and he didn’t say anything.

The next day, Jan 11, the police showed up and took all of them into custody.

Johnson on cross…

You take medication that makes you sleepy?  Yes, I have seizures and have to take it.

The gun that was found in the downstairs bedroom, you never saw Mr. Thomas with that gun?  No.  I never saw anyone with a gun.

Witness released.

Break called…

Darin Williams called.  He knew Davidson because he bought cocaine from him

January 2007 he went to Chipman to buy dope.  Heard a car horn honking but didn’t recognize the cat.  When he stopped at the house, Davidson drove up in the 4 Runner.  He believes there were 4 persons in the vehicle.

He saw Thomas at Davidson’s house, but never spoke to him.

He saw Davidson several times at the house, but Davidson always came out.  One of the times, he saw the 4 Runner parked in the gravel lot across the street.

He identifies a picture of the 4 Runner.

Johnson on cross…

Oh, now he has no questions!

Nevil Norman called.  Knox County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective.

He took the missing person’s report.

Jan 11, he went to Lebanon to help arrest the murder suspects.

He and another officer covered the back of the house.

He and two others took statements from George Thomas.  The interview was recorded.

He identifies the Rights Waiver Thomas signed and identifies Thomas sitting in court.

Price plays the audio of the interview and the transcript is passed out to the jury.

The audio is really poor quality and pretty much not understandable.  Don’t know what the recording sounds like in court, but good thing the jury has transcripts to follow along!

He’s talking about the 4 Runner and that a blindfolded white girl and white girl being there.

This audio is awful…can’t follow it at all!  Have to remember how many years ago this happened and recording technology wasn’t as state-of-the-art as it is today!

Audiotape over and Judge breaks for lunch at 12:28…

I realize many are confused, but because this is a retrial, I believe the State has to present their original case…no additions; no deletions. Which is why you are hearing things that probably don’t make a whole lot of sense to you if new to the trial!

Court resumes at 1:32 …discussion about jurors taking notes on the transcripts and whether or not the can keep them…both sides agree.

1:37 cross resumes Norman retaking the stand.

After the interview, Norman asked Thomas why he didn’t do anything to help Channon and Thomas said, ‘f**k that white girl, she didn’t mean anything to me.’  You cops come into our neighborhood and kill us so why should I care.’

He didn’t report it till a year later because it wasn’t recoded.  He put it in a report later.

Dillard on cross…

Three of you were hurling questions at him?  Yes.

You kept on him and kept on him?  Yes.

Mr. Thomas told you he smoked a lot of weed?  Yes.

He told you he wasn’t paying attention?  Yes.

He said  ‘oh man, man, what are you doing?’

I went to the back room and wasn’t paying attention?  Yes, that’s what he said.

Cobbins said Davidson was gonna do something crazy?  Yes.

Jack a car and I just said chill out?  Yes.

That’s when he said he didn’t want to be a part of this and that’s when he and Cobbins, and Vanessa left?  That’s what he said.

Davidson tells cops “E”, (Boyd) and Davidson wouldn’t let them leave, even though they wanted to.  That’s what he said.

Defense cherry-picking the Thomas interview statements!!!!

Fair to say you were upset for George Thomas wasn’t doing anything to help?  No, that’s wrong.

Defense trying to discredit the Thomas statement of f***k that white girl!

It was only 17 months later that you brought this statement forward?   Correct, I told my supervisors.

Defense really grilling Norman!!!  I don’t believe this guy is lying!  Has no reason too!  No benefit.

Cobbins in passing told Thomas to tell them the truth and not the other story?  Yes.

Norman is holding his own being defiant about he interview!

Witness released.

State calls (?), from Grayson County detention center where Thomas was held.  Phone tape played.

Again, understandable, but believe it’s between Stacy and Thomas and Stacy asks what happened.

Lawson is asking why didn’t you call or leave? Thomas, I couldn’t & it’s none of my business.

Witness released.

Kayla Trout called.  She knew Daphne and stayed at Chipman off-and-on  when she had no place to stay.

Jan 7 she recalls several calls from Davidson’s cell phone.

She called Daphne to let her know Davidson was looking for her.

Johnson on cross…

You didn’t know who George Thomas was?  No.

No questions from defense.

Recess called…

Defense arguing letters between Thomas and Cobbins, twenty and thirty, should not be introduce.

Letters are from ’08 and State argues there are 3 letters that show Thomas and Cobbins were close friends after the criminal events and defense says they are not probative.  They fact, they are signed love!

Judge Kurtz rules he will state a stipulation on the salutations and sign-off on the letters…they are fairly beyond friendly!

2:56…recess called…

Blog lost everything from 3 pm, oh…accckkk, sorry folks… nothing  real important ‘cept how bad these crimes were in terms of hideous by the ME!!  Sucks WP did this!

Sounds like we will rest tomorrow!!!

  1. ritanita
    05/15/2013 at 7:33 pm

    Donchais, I’m sorry you lost the ME stuff, but I remember how horrible these deaths were. They were the worst of the worst. It still chills me to this day to recall the testimony of how those two lovely young people were savagely murdered.

  2. HJ Madison
    05/15/2013 at 7:37 pm

    Donchais: Thanks for noting the confusion. They are moving fast if the state rests tomorrow. Will the defense present anything? I heard about 10 minutes of the ME. So awful!

  3. donchais
    05/15/2013 at 7:41 pm

    I have no idea what the defense can show…they have nothing as far as I can see…pretty much what the had in the first trial….same case from before!

  4. David In TN
    05/15/2013 at 7:58 pm

    I attended the Monday and Tuesday sessions. The defense opening statement was an attack, including a power point demo, on the Criminal Responsibility Law as it applied to Thomas’ guilt. It lasted over an hour and was more like a closing than an opening. The judge even admonished the defense attorney Steven Johnson for going beyond a general statement of his case.

    Thomas’ attorneys learned from their loss in his first trial to make a head-on attack on criminal responsibility . The prosecution should know what to emphasize in closing and rebuttal.

    At Vanessa Coleman’s November retrial (which I attended three days of) I saw the ME testify. The first photo showed Channon lying on a gurney. Her body was still twisted from being shoved in the garbage can. It got worse after that.

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