KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --Testimony continues in the retrial of Vanessa Coleman. Thursday the story got more real for jurors as they heard a transcript of Coleman's own testimony, along with testimony from her friends.
The first two days of the trial have focused on the details of the crime; now, prosecutors are focusing on telling the story through the people who were there. Thursday's testimony focused on the days before and after Channon Christian was raped and murder.
"I didn't think she was scared," said Stacey Lawson, a friend of Coleman's who knew her in Kentucky and traveled with her to Tennessee. Lawson stayed in the small Chipman Street house days before Channon was kidnapped.
She says life was hard with seven or eight people sharing a 900-square-foot house; they fought, they were broke, and Lemaricus Davidson snapped. Lawson said he pulled a gun and aimed it at her; she decided she'd had enough and told Coleman to leave with her, but Coleman said she wanted to stay. Lawson testified that she didn't see her friend again until after the murders, when Coleman returned to Kentucky-- and that her friend seemed different.
Lawson said when Coleman returned to Kentucky, she did seem scared, and constantly checked Knoxville news websites. The defense claims Coleman was scared because of what she witnessed in the Chipman Street house, and that she was terrified by her boyfriend, Letalvis Cobbins.
But the prosecution insists Coleman knew what she was getting into, knew the kind of people she was living with, and could have left anytime. Prosecutors say she was only scared of getting caught.
In the transcripts of Coleman's testimony before the grand jury, jurors heard Coleman describe the gruesome details of what hapened to Channon Christian, from the Saturday she was kidnapped, to the Sunday she was killed.
Coleman claimed she was threatened and that's why she didn't call police, but prosecutors say other testimony will contradict that. Testimony will continue Friday, as the prosecution does not believe they'll get through everything before court closes Thursday night.
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