Coleman GUILTY of facilitating murder, kidnapping, rape of Christian

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After a day and a half deliberating, the Vanessa Coleman jury announces its verdict. Back to back not guilty verdicts put everyone on the edge of courtroom benches.

Coleman also escaped guilty verdicts on the most serious murder charges, knocking out possible life and death sentences.

The victims' families reacted with anger and disappointment.

Mary Newsom told Volunteer TV "we are very disappointed in what the jury decided."

"Channon and Chris both deserve justice, and justice was not served here today," said Deena Christian.

Hugh Newsom told the jury, "I hope they go back to Nashville and stay."

Coleman's parents were too upset to talk. Her defense lawyer, Ted Lavit, talked first to Volunteer TV.

"She thanked us. She was pleased. She knew that she was gonna receive some time simply because she was there," said Lavit

Legal expert Bruce Poston disected the verdict. "It's shocking but yet you can justify those verdicts," he said.

Poston, himself a defense lawyer, believes the verdict is tied to controversial state witness Daphne Sutton not facing charges.

"Giving the make of the jury and questions, I think it played a good role," he said.

So what kind of sentence does Coleman face for 17 guilty counts? 15-25 years, due in part to her clean criminal history.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jurors ruled that Vanessa Coleman is guilty on four counts of facilitation of first degree felony murder of Channon Christian, guilty of one count of facilitation of premeditated first degree murder of Christian, two counts of facilitation of especially aggravated rape of Christian, nine counts of facilitation of aggravated rape of Christian, and one count of facilitation of theft of property belonging to Christian.

Jurors ruled that Coleman is not guilty of any charges related to the crimes against Christopher Newsom.

None of the charges Coleman was convicted of carry the death penalty.

Judge Richard Baumgartner set Coleman's sentencing hearing for July 30, 2010, at 11 a.m.

Lemaricus Davidson is on death row, and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were both convicted for their roles in the crime and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury ruled that Vanessa Coleman is guilty of facilitation of theft of property of Channon Christian, valued at more than $10,000 but less than $60,000.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury ruled that Vanessa Coleman is guilty of facilitation of rape of Channon Christian on nine counts.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury ruled that Vanessa Coleman is guilty of two counts of facilitation of especially aggravated kidnapping of Channon Christian.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury found Vanessa Coleman guilty of facilitation of first degree murder in the death of Channon Christian. So far, there have been no guilty verdicts against Coleman relating to the death of Christopher Newsom.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Jury ruled that Vanessa Coleman is Guilty of the first degree felony murder of Channon Christian. The jury did not return a single guilty verdict relating to the murder Christopher Newsom.

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UPDATE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The jury hearing the Vanessa Coleman trial has reached a verdict, a source close to the criminal court proceedings tells Volunteer TV News.

The jury is expected to announce the verdict after lunch.

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Jury deliberations continue today in Vanessa Coleman's double murder trial. Coleman is the only woman charged with the January 2007 carjacking, kidnapping, rape and murder of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23. She faces the death penalty.

Volunteer TV's Mario Boone is at the courthouse, and will be providing up-to-the-minute courtroom information on Twitter.com, just follow @WVLT.


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