Two Carjacking, Murder Suspects Appear Before Federal Judge

Knoxville (WVLT) - Two of the four suspects charged in connection with the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom made a court appearance Thursday morning.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud was in the courtroom, she's just back to our newsroom with new details.

Not guilty, that is the plea attorneys appointed for 24-year-old Letalvis Cobbins and 24-year-old George Thomas announced in federal court Thursday morning.

The men appeared separately before Judge Bruce Guyton, the families of Christian and Newsom sitting on the opposite side of the courtroom.

Cobbins appeared first, followed immediately by Thomas.

Both men were asked a series of questions, found competent to proceed with Thursday's arraignment, and both were appointed attorneys.

Cobbins faces carjacking and gun charges, and could face death if convicted.

Thomas faces an accessory charge and up to 15 years in jail.

Both waived their right to a detention hearing, and will remain in jail until trial.

One of the four defendants, Lemaricus Davidson has already filed a motion to have what is called a complex trial, as opposed to a speedy trial.

The judge set a date of February 1st for the other co-defendants to decide if they want to do the same.

The government must respond to any motions by February 8th.

As we first reported Wednesday, police once again searched the home rented by Davidson where Christian's body was found.

According to the warrant, police seized carpet fibers, boxes of empty garbage bags, and spray cleaners.

According to the warrant, a witness told police she was in the home while Christian was still alive.

The warrant says that witness saw Christian's mouth being cleaned with a spray cleaner.

Local authorities appear to be building their case for local charges, in addition to the federal charges.

We'll continue to follow this case closely in the coming days and weeks.

For now and pending any motions, a trial date of March 28th has been set.