Crimetracker: State ends testimony in Thomas trial


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The State's last witness walked off the stand just before 6:30 this evening, ending the case against George Thomas.

Thomas was convicted once in the killings of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian but that trial was overturned after the Judge in the case was found guilty of abusing drugs while on the bench.

In their final push the State introduced key witnesses, a new piece of evidence, and the Medical Examiner dissected autopsy photos of Channon and Chris.

Those witnesses, Stacy Lawson and Natosha "Blue" Hays started off the day.

Lawson, George's girlfriend, told jurors that she repeatedly asked Thomas to leave Knoxville with her and go back home to Kentucky before the kidnappings but he refused.

"Blue" did something that other witnesses had failed to do; place a weapon in George Thomas' hands.

She said Thomas had bullets in his pockets when he arrived at her home in Lebanon, which the group used to hide out after leaving Knoxville.

The new evidence was a phone conversation between George Thomas and Lawson, recorded from a jail telephone while Thomas was in custody.

There Lawson asks why no one called the police during the weekend Channon was kidnapped and held in the Chipman St house.

"She didn't deserve what she got." Lawson said.

After a long pause Thomas replied, "Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, that was none of my business."

Then the hardest testimony to watch; the Medical Examiner going through photos of both bodies.

Chris Newsom wasn't recognizable. Burns covered 80% of his body. He was raped, shot twice before a third fatal shot, then covered in gasoline and set on fire.

Channon was discovered in a trash can inside the Chipman St house. Her body decomposed quickly because of the temperature inside and the fact that she was tucked into the fetal position.

She was also raped then choked but the suffocation from being covered in plastic and folded into the fetal position is what killed her.

Family members consoled each other while the pictures were displayed for the courtroom. The jurors were able to concentrate on them with the exception of some hands covering mouths and a few jurors looking away during some graphic shots.

The trial is expected to begin for its fourth day on Thursday at 9AM.

Then it will be the defense's turn to present their evidence.

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On Tuesday, a woman who was in the house where a young Knoxville couple was taken after being carjacked has testified defendant George Thomas did not take part in the crime.

Daphne Sutton testified Tuesday at the retrial of Thomas in the 2007 killing of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

Sutton -- the girlfriend of Lemaricus Davidson, who was earlier convicted in the slayings -- testified Thomas sat in a chair and never spoke when she went to the house the day after the couple was kidnapped.

Defense attorney Tom Dillard told the jury Thomas, of Lebanon, Ky., "kept his head low, smoked his dope and stayed detached" in order to survive.

Thomas would face a maximum of life without parole if he is again convicted.


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