Crimetracker: Thomas sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus 25 years

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The judge has sentenced George Thomas to two consecutive life sentences plus 25 years for helping kidnap, rape and murder Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

Victims' families got a chance to confront him.

"I've been sentenced to life without my daughter," said Channon's mother, Deena Christian.

Last month, a jury convicted George Thomas on 38 charges related to the kidnapping, rape, and murders of Channon and Christopher Newsom in 2007. Jurors already determined that he will serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 51 years for the murders charges.

Tuesday's hearing was for the lesser crimes. The judge will also decide if he will serve his sentences at the same time or back-to-back.

The hearing began around 1:00 p.m. with prosecutors pointing to several arrests from 2004 to support a harsher sentence. Then, the victims' parents taking the stand first, with Mary Newsom, Christopher's mother, telling Thomas, "(y)ou will never suffer as much as I have."

Hugh Newsom followed, introducing himself as the "proud father of Chris Newsom" before turning to Thomas and asking him if he ever admitted to killing his son.

"No, I didn't," replied Thomas.

"You taught me how to hate," said Channon's father, Gary Christian.

"If you think this court should give you any mercy, you've been smoking too many blunts," he said. "You're not going to hurt nobody else, not today, not ever."

The convictions came in Thomas' retrial after his original conviction was thrown out after revelations of Judge Baumgartner's drug use.


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