Lemaricus Davidson guilty on all murder counts

By: Mike McCarthy & Michael Grider Email
By: Mike McCarthy & Michael Grider Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Sentencing in the Lemaricus Davidson double murder trial begins at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Jurors found Davidson guilty on all counts against him on Wednesday afternoon, except the three aggravated rape counts involving Christopher Newsom. On those three charges, the jury found Davidson guilty of the lesser-included offense of facilitation of aggravated rape.



List of verdicts against Davidson

Because Davidson was found guilty on several first degree murder and first degree felony murder charges, a sentencing hearing will move forward Thursday. At which time, both sides will put on more proof, with prosecutors arguing that Davidson should be put to death, and the defense trying to spare his life. The jury must be unanimous in their decision that Davidson should face the death penalty before he can be sentenced to death.

"We finally have the justice that these kids deserves," Chris Newsom's mother, Mary Newsom, said after the verdict was read.

"Chris and Channon were the victims in this murder, and they should have never been put on trial," Channon Christian's mother, Deena Christian said., "and I can't say this in a court of law, but they did not deserve to be put on trial, they didn't do anything wrong, and today they got justice."

Because Davidson was found guilty of killing both Christian and Newsom--unlike his half brother, Letalvis Cobbins, who was not convicted of killing Newsom--the Newsom family will get to share their victim impact statements with the jury during the sentencing hearing Thursday.

Asked about the possible sentences in the case, Channon's father, Gary Christian, said, "Death, Death, Death."

"Two down, two more to go. Hopefully three," Deena Christian said.

"(Eric) Boyd ain't over," Gary Christian said.

"We go out to Chris' cemetery, out by Chris' grave, and talk to him after every trial," Christopher Newsom's father, Hugh Newsom, said.

Earlier in the day, while the jury was still deliberating, Gary and Deena Christian addressed the media, expressing their frustrations with defense attorneys and the media concerning defense attorney claims that their children used drugs and the way media reported that information.

Gary Christian said the U.S. Constitution has been distorted and defense attorneys attempted "to drag our children through the mud, attempt to make them into dope dealers and hookers. And in a court of law, my wife does not have the right to say that our children should not have been put on trial. The truth must really hurt."

The Christian's also took issue with the defense's suggestion that Channon may have had consensual sex with Davidson.

"Over my dead body. The next person that says out of their mouth that my daughter had consensual sex with him, ain't got but one person in this world to deal with, and that's me," Christian said. "Over my dead body."

The Christians say they also have proof--drug screen results from Channon's employment--that their daughter was not on drugs.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury finds Lemaricus Davidson guilty of the aggravated rape of Channon Christian.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury finds Lemaricus Davidson guilty of facilitation of rape in all rape counts against him involving Christopher Newsom. Facilitation of rape is a lesser-included charge stemming from the initial aggravated rape charges against him.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury finds Lemaricus Davidson guilty of first degree murder in the deaths of both Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury finds Lemaricus Davidson guilty of first degree felony murder in the killing of Channon Christina and Chris Newsom. Those charges are death penalty eligible.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury has reached a verdict in the Lemaricus Davidson murder trial.

Volunteer TV News and VolunteerTV.com will carry the verdict live, in its entirety on the air and streaming on our Web channel. You can also watch a live feed from the courtroom on VolunteerTV.com, and get courtroom updates from Mike McCarthy on Twitter by following @WVLT.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Knox County jury has begun reviewing the entire police interrogation of accused killer Lemaricus Davidson.

"Is there any way when we're watching this, you can zoom in on Mr. Davidson?," a male juror asked.

The judge said that wasn't possible.

Jurors began deliberating Davidson's fate Tuesday afternoon, but ended the day without a verdict.

The jury re watched a portion of the more than two hour interrogation inside the courtroom.

Judge Richard Baumgartner said it would be better for the jury to watch the video on the courtroom big screen to ensure the equipment works properly.

"I want to make sure the jury sees what we see," Baumgartner said.

Davidson's defense team objected to the video being replayed in open courtroom.

"This is part of jury deliberations, and it's not appropriate for jury deliberations to occur in open courtroom," defense attorney David Eldridge argued.

Judge Baumgartner said the exhibit is too large to take into the jury room, and no attorneys will be allowed to question jurors.

Davidson is the accused ringleader in the January 2007 carjacking, rape, and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

Officers interrogated Davidson after his arrest at a vacant Reynolds Street house on January 11, 2007.

"Selling dope, that's I do sell dope. I don't kill people though," Davidson told KPD Investigator Ryan Flores.

Davidson's changes his story throughout the questioning.

He first denies any knowledge of what happened to couple.

"I ain't never see the girl in my life or the dude," Davidson said, "I had never seen them before in my life."

However, he later told police co-defendants Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas carjacked the couple and brought them back to his Chipman Street house.

"They came to the house. They already had the car and everything....They had both of them in the backseat tied up...I'm telling them, 'man, y'all stupid," Davidson said.

Davidson told police he only "bumped up against [Christian] a couple times," but later said Christian grabbed his arm.

"She says, I don't want to die," Davidson said.

In closing arguments, Davidson's defense team has argued Christian and Newsom weren't carjacked, but instead went to the Chipman Street area to buy drugs.

Eldridge argued Davidson introduced the couple to the "gang from Kentucky", referring the Cobbins, Thomas, and Vanessa Coleman.

The defense blames the murders on the trio and argued Davidson wasn't around for crimes.

Eldridge argued Davidson lied to police out fear after being arrested by what the defense called, "a small army."

"He's a known drug dealer with a gun. He knows the police and the public was upset," Eldridge told the jury Tuesday.

But Assistant District Attorney Leland Price described Davidson a desperate days before the crimes against the couple.

"He had no job. He had no money. He had no ride," Price said. "[Davidson] went out with his partners in crime and he took it from those two young people, took everything they had and was ever going to have and he kept it for himself."

Davidson faces the death penalty if he's convicted of first degree murder.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jury deliberations are set to resume Wednesday morning in the double murder trial of Lemaricus Davidson.

Davidson is charged with the January 2007 carjacking, kidnapping, rape and murder of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy as at the courthouse awaiting the jury's verdict. Volunteer TV News and VolunteerTV.com will carry the verdict live, in its entirety on the air and streaming on our Web channel. You can also watch a live feed from the courtroom on VolunteerTV.com, and get courtroom updates from Mike McCarthy on Twitter by following @WVLT.


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