More Evidence As Christian-Newsom Murder Suspects Appear In Court

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

Knoxville (WVLT) -- They stand accused of one of the most disturbing crimes in recent memory.

On Thursday, the four suspects in the car-jacking and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were back in court.

Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman appeared before the judge to learn about the latest development in the case.

Attorneys for the four suspects were supposed to have all of the state's evidence by now, but on Thursday morning, new evidence was still pouring in, causing a delay.

Accused murderer George Thomas was the first of four to enter the courtroom.

He was followed by Lemaricus Davidson, Vanessa Coleman and Letalvis Cobbins.

One at a time, each suspect heard the latest developments in the case.

It was supposed to be the deadline for the state to provide all evidence to defense attorneys, but the prosecutor still needs more time.

“We received two more banker's boxes yesterday afternoon from the federal authorities,” said Attorney General Randy Nichols. “We have been most diligent in our discovery efforts, but it is voluminous."

With two boxes of evidence ending up in prosecutor's hands just yesterday, none of the four defense attorneys made any objections to the state's request for more time.

Judge Richard Baumgartner set the new deadline to January 10.

That will fall exactly a year and three days after a railroad worker found Chris Newsom's body along the tracks between Ninth and Cherry Streets.

It would be another two days before Channon Christian’s body was found two blocks away in a rental home on Chipman Street.

Once defense attorneys receive the evidence they will begin filing motions.

DNA evidence is expected to play a role in the case and defense experts will have plenty of work ahead of them.

While the judge had no problem extending the discovery deadline, he made it clear that he wants the trials to take place on the current schedule if at all possible.

Cobbins trial is set to go May 12th followed by Davidson’s on May 19th, Coleman’s on June 16 and Thomas’s on August 11, 2008.

One of the suspects was arraigned on a new charge this morning.

Davidson now faces charges in a separate robbery case.

The state has filed a motion to have that case consolidated with the murder trial.

Davidson's lawyer said he would need time to respond to that motion.


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