side note: Sorry for all the weird fonts and hard to read layout. I recently switced from Blogger to WordPress and a lot of the fonts and layout were totally messed up. I have tried to fix it as best as possible.
Update 5/21/07 10:36AM
I had to start a new blog entry. This one was becoming too hard to load. Please go here:
Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom – A Story That Must Be Told – PART II
Update 5/19/07 10:54PM
New robbery charges for 1 suspect in Knoxville double murder
May 18, 2007
KNOXVILLE (WATE) — One of the suspects in the double murder of a young Knoxville couple is facing new charges for armed robberies committed just days after the murders.
Lemaricus Davidson is charged with six counts related to two robberies. The Knox County grand jury indictment states that Davidson robbed a worker at the Pizza Hut at 3428 N. Broadway at gunpoint and snatched a woman’s purse at gunpoint on the same day, January 8. Davidson is also charged for possessing a weapon as a convicted felon during the robberies. He was convicted in 2001 of aggravated robbery and carjacking in Madison County, Tennessee.Davidson is due on court on the robbery charges on September 27.
[Complete News Story Here]
Update 5/17/07 9:51PM
The four suspects in the fatal carjacking, rape, and murders of a young Knoxville couple will be tried separately.
Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, Vanessa Coleman, and George Thomas are charged in a 46 count indictment with the January kidnapping, assault, rape, and murders of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.
The suspects appeared in a Knoxville criminal courtroom Thursday, where it was decided that the four trials will begin in May of 2008 and conclude in August.
State prosecutors say Davidson has also been indicted in a separate robbery that took place after the murders.
Baumgartner anticipated two-week trials for each of them in 2008:
Cobbins May 12, 2008
Coleman on June 16, 2008
Davidson on July 14, 2008
Thomas on Aug. 11, 2008
Prosecutors have yet to say if they will seek the death penalty. However, the judge is putting a time restraint to decide if these are death penalty cases, and said they would be back in court in September to set deadlines for discovery.
The judge was considering putting evidence into public record, but Davidson’s attorney objected. He was concerned it would taint the jury pool, so the judge ultimately decided against it.
WKRN (Nashville) article:
Lemaricus Davidson, 25; his brother, Letalvis Cobbins, 24; and George Thomas, 24, were indicted on 46 counts, including first-degree murder. Cobbins’ former girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, 18, was indicted on 40 counts, also including murder. Some have implicated others in statements to police, but it remains unclear what prompted the crimes.
News Video: Click Here For News Video
Update 5/8/7 11:35PM
New Article on CNSNews.com
Scant Coverage of Brutal Crime Called ”Journalistic Malpractice”
Update 4/25/07 7:36PM
Click Here Guest Book for Channon Gail Christian
Update 4/24/07 7:19AM
Organizers seek to end ’07 violent crime wave
Five homicides in four weeks – it was clear to Nate Allen that Knoxville had a problem the police department couldn’t address on its own. Surpassing the average of two homicides per month, somehow the surge in violent crime that started 2007 needed to be addressed.
“If we kept growing like that, there is no telling where we would be,” said Allen, a captain with the Knoxville Police Department.
So he reached out to various community leaders, and from those conversations emerged “Operation: Save Our City,” a movement of local religious groups to “take back our city,” said the Rev. Barbara Canada of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.The initiative calls on the community as a whole to operate as a sort of unofficial neighborhood watch to monitor crime and drug activity, rather than turning the other way out of fear.
“People are afraid to go to the store at night, afraid to get gas,” Canada said. “Even in their own homes they are afraid. That’s not what life is about.”
Operation: Save Our City begins today with a proclamation from Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam to be presented at tonight’s City Council meeting, after a prayer service next door at First Baptist Church.
The groups behind the effort are the Knoxville Interdenominational Christian Ministerial Alliance, Knoxville Inner City Churches United for People, the Knoxville Interfaith Network and the Knoxville Ministerial Alliance.
A green-ribbon campaign is planned, but organizers say the movement is about more than symbolic gestures. Religious leaders will ask community members to meet in coming months to discuss violent crime in their neighborhoods.
They want to hear about problems and concerns, the ultimate goal being to find solutions before a time bomb explodes, said Elder Phillip Hamilton of Children of God Church of God in Christ.
Hamilton points to the Virginia Tech massacre as an example of what is at stake, but Knoxville doesn’t need to look outside its boundaries for examples of violent crime.
Seven of this year’s nine homicides in the city were shootings, according to police. Six of the victims and most of the perpetrators were between the ages of 18-27.
“The young lady who (was) killed, somebody saw that going on,” Hamilton said, referring to the January murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
“I’m saddened by what happened at Virginia Tech but at the same time we have major time bombs in our own communities.”
Allen said he believes violent crime would be reduced if more community groups were active on the front end.
He is optimistic about what Operation: Save Our City could bring. Hamilton said: “Let’s quit waiting until a bomb drops into our community to wake us up. If we all start working together, I think we’re going to come up with a solution.”
Update 4/23/07 1:38PM
KnoxNews: Rally will protest black-against-white crime
By JIM BALLOCH, email@example.com April 20, 2007Apparently prompted by the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a group is planning a rally in Knoxville to protest crimes against white people by black people.
According to special events and parade permit applications filed with the city, the rally would be held June 16 in front of the old Knox County Courthouse.The applications were filed by Ken Gregg on behalf of the “ABC Group.”The applications – neither of which may be required, according to city and Public Building Authority officials – describes the planned event as a “peaceful protest against black crime on whites.”
Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23, both of whom were white, were kidnapped, beaten, tortured and murdered in early January.
The four suspects charged in connection with the crime are black. They are Vanessa Coleman, 19; Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins, 24 and his brother, Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson, 25; and George “Detroit” Thomas, 24.
Gregg, who in the past has been affiliated with the White Patriot Party, could not be reached Thursday for comment on the rally or additional information on the ABC Group.
According to information posted on Stormfront.org, which calls itself the Web site of the white nationalist community, the rally is part of a three-day event, with other events occurring on private property.
“If someone is looking for the NAACP to protest against them coming here, we are not going to do that,” said the Rev. Ezra Maize, president of the Knoxville chapter of NAACP. “We are not going to add any fuel to that fire. But at some point, we will give a statement.”
James A.H. Bell, who represents the Newsom family, said his clients had no comment on the rally.
“The Newsom family is interested in obtaining a trial by jury and seeking absolute justice on behalf of their son,” he said.
As long as city streets and sidewalks are not used or blocked, no permits are needed to hold meetings or rallies in front of the courthouse or the City County Building.
“People have been holding rallies and meetings in front of courthouses for more than 300 years,” said Bob Rountree, director of property management for the Public Building Authority, which manages both properties.
Rountree said PBA’s security staff would be present, and the Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office would be contacted to make whatever preparations they feel are appropriate.
Update 4/22/07 10:56PM
Charges Of Defendants (Warning – Graphic)
Vanessa Coleman’s Charges
1) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of a Kidnapping of Hugh Christopher Newsom2) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of a Kidnapping of Channon Christian3) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of a Kidnapping of Hugh Christopher Newsom4) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of a Kidnapping of Channon Christian
5) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of Rape of Hugh Christopher Newsom
6) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of Rape of Channon Christian
7) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of Rape of Hugh Christopher Newsom
8. Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of Rape of Channon Christian
9) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of the Theft of property of Christopher Newsom
10) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of the Theft of property of Channon Christian
11) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of the Theft of property of Hugh Christopher Newsom
12) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of the Theft of property of Channon Christian
13) Did unlawfully, intentionally and with premeditation kill Hugh Christopher Newsom
14) Did unlawfully, intentionally and with premeditation kill Channon Christian
15) Did unlawfully, knowingly by the violence and by putting Hugh Christopher Newsom in fear, take from the person Hugh Christopher Newsom, Car keys, driver’s license, hat, shoes and other items to the Grand Jurors unknown, the further kinds, types, brands and descriptions thereof to the Grand Jurors unknown, where Hugh Christopher Newsom suffered serious bodily injury, and taking accomplished with a deadly weapon
16) Did unlawfully, knowingly by violence and by putting Channon Christian in fear, take from the person of Channon Christian, a Toyota 4-Runner vehicle, purse, shoes, clothing and other items to the Grand Jurors unknown, the further kinds, types, brands and descriptions thereof to the Grand Jurors unknown, where Channon Christian suffered serious bodily injury, said taking accomplished with a deadly weapon
17) Did unlawfully and knowingly remove and confine Hugh Christopher Newsom, so as tp interfere substantially with the liberty of said Hugh Christopher Newsom, and further that said acts were accomplished with a deadly weapon
18) Did unlawfully and knowingly remove and confine Hugh Christopher Newsom so as to interfere substantially with the liberty of said Hugh Christopher Newsom, and further that said acts resulted in the Hugh Christopher Newsom suffering serious bodily injury
19) Did unlawfully and knowingly remove and confine Channon Christian so as to interfere substantially with the liberty of said Channon Christian, and further that said acts were accomplished with a deadly weapon
20) Did unlawfully and knowingly remove and confine Channon Christian so as to interfere substantially with the liberty of said Channon Christian, and further that said acts resulted in the Channon Christian suffering serious bodily injury
21) Did unlawfully and intentionally and knowingly and forcibly, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Hugh Christopher Newsom to-wit: anal penetration
22) Did unlawfully and intentionally and knowingly and coercively, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Hugh Christopher Newsom, to-wit: anal penetration
23) Did unlawfully and knowingly sexually penetrate and cause bodily injury to Hugh Christopher Newsom, to-wit: anal penetration
24) Did unlawfully and forcibly sexually penetrate Hugh Christopher Newsom, to-wit: anal penetration while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
25) Did unlawfully and coercively sexually penetrate Hugh Christopher Newsom, to-wit: anal penetration while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
26) Did knowingly and forcibly, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: anal penetration
27) Did knowingly and coercively, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: oral penetration
28) Did knowingly and coercively, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: vaginal penetration
29) Did unlawfully and knowingly sexually penetrate and cause bodily injury to Channon Christian, to-wit: anal penetration
30. Did knowingly and forcibly, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: oral penetration
31) Did knowingly and forcibly, while armed with a weapon, sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: vaginal penetration
32) Did unlawfully and knowingly sexually penetrate and cause bodily injury to Channon Christian, to-wit: anal penetration
33) Did unlawfully and knowingly sexually penetrate and cause bodily injury to Channon Christian, to-wit: oral penetration
34) Did unlawfully and knowingly sexually penetrate and cause bodily injury to Channon Christian, to-wit: vaginal penetration
35) Did unlawfully and knowingly and forcibly sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: anal penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
36) Did unlawfully and knowingly forcibly sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: oral penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
37) Did unlawfully and knowingly and forcibly sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: vaginal penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
38) Did unlawfully and knowingly and coercively sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: anal penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
39) Did unlawfully and knowingly and coercively sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: oral penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
40) Did unlawfully and knowingly and coercively sexually penetrate Channon Christian, to-wit: vaginal penetration, while being aided and abetted by one or more persons to the Grand Jurors unknown
41) Did unlawfully and knowingly obtain and exercise control over property; to-wit: car keys, driver’s license, hat, shoes and other items to the Grand Jurors unknown, the further kinds, types, brands and descriptions thereof to the Grand Jurors unknown, of the value of Five Hundred and 00/100 ($500.00) Dollars or less, of Hugh Christopher Newsom
42) Did unlawfully and knowingly obtain and exercise control over property, to-wit: a Toyota 4-Runner vehicle, purse, shoes, clothing and other items to the Grand Jurors unknown, of the value of at least Ten Thousand and 00/100 ($10,000) Dollars but less than Sixty Thousand and 00/100 ($60,000) Dollars, of Channon Christian without her effective consent, with intent to deprive the said Channon Christian
Added counts to Letalvis Darnell Cobbins (Alias Rome), Lemaricus Devall Davidson (Alias Slim) and George Geovonni Thomas (Alias Detroit, Alias “G”)
(These defendants face all previous charges listed for Vanessa Coleman as well)
43) Did lawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of Robbery of Hugh Christopher Newsom
44) Did unlawfully kill Hugh Christopher Newsom during the perpetration of Robbery of Channon Christian
45) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of Robbery of Hugh Christopher Newsom
46) Did unlawfully kill Channon Christian during the perpetration of Robbery of Channon Christian
Eric Boyd Charges
Federal accessory to carjacking . He is not charged in the Knox County indictment. Boyd, who faces trial in federal court in July, could receive up to 15 years if convicted.
Update 4/22/07 7:34PM
(This is what I have so far. It will be updated if I see I need to)
Timeline into Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom’s Disappearance
Saturday, January 6, 2007 8:00PM– Channon Christian’s friend Kara S. stated this was the last time she saw Channon.
Sunday, January 7, 2007 12:35AM – Channon Christian phoned home stating she would be home between 2:30-3:00AM. Denna Christian told authorities later that her daughter said she was planning to visit friends on Washington Pike.
Sunday, January 7, 2007 12:24 PM – A railroad employee on a passing train alerted police about a body along Norfolk Southern tracks between Ninth Avenue and Cherry Street. It was Newsom’s body.
Sunday, January 7, 2007 12:55PM – Law Enforcement responded to the call. Christopher Newsom’s body was found near a railroad track behind 1701 Whittle Springs between Cherry Street and Ninth Ave. The victim was wrapped in a sheet or a comforter and was shot at least three times. He was bound with rope or bootlace. His shoes, socks, ID, and Ipod were missing. His body had been burned.
Sunday, January 7, 2007 4:48PM – Channon Christian was reported missing by her mother. They had not heard from Channon since a telephone call at 12:30AM when she stated she would be home around 2:30-3:00AM.
Sunday, January 7, 2007 7:53PM – Christopher Newsom was reported missing by his father. Christopher had not been in contact with his family since Saturday, January 6, 2007.
Monday, January 8, 2007 1:38AM – Channon’s vehicle was found near 1121 Glider Ave, approximately 2 blocks from where Christopher Newsom’s body was found. Channon’s father found the vehicle after Mr. Christian contacted the cell phone company and they were able to determine the cell tower closest to the signal.
Monday, January 8, 2007 Undetermined Time – Lemaricus Davidson’s fingerprint was found on a bank envelope in Channon’s vehicle. DMV check revealed Davidson’s address was 2316 Chipman Street which was located 2 blocks from where the body of Christopher Newsom as well as Channon’s vehicle.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007 2:00PM – After finding that Lemaricus Davidson had an outstanding warrant, law enforcement went to 2316 Chipman Street to serve a warrant. Upon entry, Channon’s body was found in a trashcan in the kitchen. Her body was found in five seperate trash bags.
Update 4/18/07 7:51PM
The lone female suspect in a fatal carjacking in which a young Knox County couple were kidnapped, raped and slain was formally arraigned this morning after a series of earlier delays. Vanessa Coleman, 19, is the last of four suspects named in a massive 46-count indictment to be formally arraigned in Knox County Criminal Court.
An arraignment is a quick process designed to make sure a defendant in a criminal case knows what he or she is charged with and has hired a lawyer, needs a court-appointed attorney or plans to represent himself or herself.
Coleman appeared with two Kentucky attorneys, Theodore H. Lavit and Joseph R. Stewart.The pair, who work for the same law firm, have been hired, although it’s not clear who is footing the bill. The teenaged Coleman is behind bars in lieu of a $1 million bond.She is accused along with her then-boyfriend, Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins, his brother, Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson, and a fourth suspect, George “Detroit” Thomas, in a January double homicide.
The four are accused of kidnapping, beating, raping and killing Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23.
Judge Richard Baumgartner has been careful in the case to ensure that each defendant is represented by attorneys who are “death certified,” a label under state law that means they are experienced enough to represent a defendant facing the death penalty.
So far, Assistant District Attorney General Bill Crabtree has not filed notice of an intent to seek the death penalty. However, little else has been filed in the case either.
Defense attorneys Kimberly Parton, who represents Cobbins, Tom Dillard, who represents Thomas, and David Eldridge, who is handling Davidson’s defense all have filed motions requesting Crabtree turn over evidence the state intends to use against the suspects. There is nothing in the file to indicate he has responded yet.
It’s still early in the case, though. The indictment itself was not filed until late January. Coleman, nabbed in Kentucky, wasn’t returned to Knox County to be arraigned until early March. Her arraignment was then postponed at least twice to allow time for Lavit and Stewart to confirm representation and make an appearance on her behalf.
All four suspects are scheduled back in court May 17 for a hearing on any motions filed before then.
Update 4/16/07 12:37AM
Click here for Search Warrant for 2316 Chipman Street
Update 4/16/07 12:19AM
I was flipping through channels tonight and I caught the tale end of the Christian/Newsom case on Geraldo at Large (Fox). They had interviewed both sets of parents.
Geraldo talked about how some were outraged because they considered this case was a hate crime but the defendants were not being charged as such. Geraldo said they made a call to the Prosecutor’s Office and was told that there is currently no Hate Crime law in the state of Tennessee.
He also talked of the attention it was receiving from the White Supremacist groups and asked the parents what they thought. Channon’s parents said that Channon was not about that and neither were they. Chris’ parents said something to the effect of “you look at those five people and you tell me”. They also said “there’s nothing we can do about that”.
Geraldo also mentioned the rally that is supposed to be held in Knoxville next month.
That was all I heard and hopefully I am reporting it correctly. I will look to see if there are transcripts online and post them if there are.I thought that was big that finally Fox had done a story on this.
Update 4/13/07 4:20PM
What Wikipedia wrote regarding Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. (Thanks Douglas F.)
Visit wikipedia – Channon and Christopher
The Grand Jury Indictment (Presentment)
Update 4/9/07 11:50PM
Not a black and white issue
The University of Maryland’s Independent Daily Student Newspaper
Article written by Stefanie Williams
Not a black and white issue article
First off I would like to address a few things. I did stop comments to this blog. I got some that were totally uncalled for and I believe that sort of thing will just take away from what this is really about. This is the only blog where I have denied comments, but that is what I chose to do for now.
Secondly, I have read a lot of rumors on all sorts of boards and other places and I chose not to post them here. I will stick to facts. You should check out the Court TV board though. Click Here for The Link To The Court TV Thread
Here is a link to the Davidson search warrant: Click Here For Davidson Search WarrantHere is the link for the Boyd search warrant: Click Here For Boyd Search Warrant
UPDATE 3/8/07 9:08PM
Two of the suspects in the murders of a young Knoxville couple appeared in a Knoxville criminal courtroom Thursday morning.It was the first local appearance for Vanessa Coleman, the only woman charged in the crimes.
Coleman faces a number of state charges related to the carjacking, rape, and murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.Coleman was arrested in Kentucky, and she fought a losing battle to avoid extradition back to Tennessee.
Also in criminal court Thursday was suspect George Thomas. He was appointed a new attorney after concerns were raised about a conflict of interest between his original attorney, Ralph Harwell, and the District Attorney’s office.
Brothers Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins, the other two suspects in the crimes are scheduled to appear in court next on May 17.
UPDATE 2/28/07 11:18PM
What the hell is the deal? How long does it take to serve a warrant? What is going on and why has Ms. Monster not been extradited to face charges on her part for the HORRIBLE torture, rape ( in which SHE is charged for by the way) and death of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom? Someone is dropping the ball here. Let’s hope the get it together fast. This is not acceptable.
Marian County, KY (WVLT) Kentucky court officials say they are still waiting for a Governor’s Warrant to be served before they can hold an extradition hearing for 18-year-old Vanessa Coleman.
Coleman, along with three others are facing dozens of charges including murder and kidnapping in connection with the death of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
Court officials say she will appear in court April 25th for another review.
UPDATE: 02/20/07 3:00PM
Pre-trial Set for May 17, 2007 for 3 of the supsects
Three of the suspects in the horrible kidnapping, torture, rape and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom of Knoxville, TN were arraigned in Knox County Court today.
Public defenders were appointed for Lemaricus Davidson, Latalvis Cobbins and George Thomas.
A forth suspect and the one female, Vanessa Coleman remains in Kentucky where she was arrested awaiting extradition. Coleman was originally named a witness and the one that saw the defendants pouring some sort of household cleaning product in Channon Christian’s mouth to try and erase DNA evidence.
Earlier this month, Federal charges of carjacking were dropped against the three men so a more serious state indictment against them can proceed.A federal accessory to carjacking charge will remain against Eric Boyd, 34, since he is not charged in the Knox County indictment. Boyd, who faces trial in federal court in July, could receive up to 15 years if convicted.
Normally I cover missing children cases, and as you see, up until recently, this blog was mostly dedicated to Colton Levi Clark (Who went missing 4/20/06 from Seminole, Oklahoma). However, in finding this article, I was in pain for these people and their families.This story is about two college kids, Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom.
Newsom, of Halls, and Christian, of West Knox County, Tennessee – had been dating since November. They told their parents they planned to join friends in an apartment off Washington Pike on Saturday night to watch movies. They never made it.
At sometime that night, a carjacking turned into a night of horror and eventually torture, rape and murder for these two young people.
Denna Christian told the KCSO she had last spoken with Channon Christian about 12:35 a.m. Sunday. At that time, Denna Christian told authorities, her daughter was planning to visit friends on Washington Pike.Denna Christian told the KCSO that her daughter had no drug or alcohol problem and had not had a recent confrontation with anyone.After Denna Christian filed the missing person report, she contacted the Newsoms.
“At that time, we were aware of a body being found, but we had no idea it was Chris,” Hugh Newsom said.
At 12:24 p.m. Sunday, a railroad employee on a passing train alerted police about a body along Norfolk Southern tracks between Ninth Avenue and Cherry Street. It was Newsom’s body.
By midday Monday, Hugh Newsom said, Snoderly notified the family of their son’s death. Snoderly, who is a friend of the Newsoms, was able to identify the body, Hugh Newsom said.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, police armed with a search warrant entered a nearby rental home at 2316 Chipman St. and found Christian’s body. Her 2005 Toyota 4-Runner had been found Monday abandoned two blocks away at the intersection of Chipman Street and Glider Avenue.
Channon Christian’s body was found three days after the couple disappeared. Investigators say it was in a large plastic garbage can in Davidson’s house on Chipman Street. Her body was in five separate dark trash bags.
There was evidence that Christian had been bound, physically assaulted and raped. Also, the Knox County medical examiner found apparent carpet fibers in her hair. According to reports, Channon was raped repeatedly for two days.
Vanessa Coleman told investigators she was at the Chipman Street house while Christian was being held there. She said she witnessed Christian’s mouth being cleaned with a bottle of some type of cleaner.
Coleman also told investigators she saw clothes that were stained with blood and smelled of gas being put in the washing machine at the house.
Files in couple’s slayings opened
46-count indictment in January carjacking names a fifth suspect
By JAMIE SATTERFIELD, firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2, 2007A Knox County grand jury has served up a massive 46-count indictment in the
fatal carjacking of a young couple in January.Grand jurors returned the secret presentment Wednesday. It was unsealed Thursday evening after a fifth suspect in the deaths of Channon Christian, 21, and boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23, was nabbed in Lebanon, Ky.
The list of allegations contained in the 24-page document is both staggering and disturbing: premeditated murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft.Three names in the presentment are not new. Brothers Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson, 25, and Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins, 24, as well as alleged criminal cohort George “Detroit” Thomas, 24, already had been identified in federal court records as suspects.A fourth suspect charged in federal court – Eric Dewayne “E” Boyd – as an accessory is not named in the state presentment.
A fifth suspect, Vanessa Lynn Coleman, emerged Thursday. She is named in 40 of the 46 counts contained in the state presentment. Coleman, 18, had previously been identified in court records as a witness. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Stone has said in court that Coleman was Cobbins’ girlfriend.
She was arrested Wednesday night in Lebanon, Ky., by deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department on a fugitive from justice warrant issued from Knox County. That is the same Kentucky town where Cobbins and Thomas allegedly had been hiding out before they were arrested Jan. 11 in the federal carjacking case.
Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols said Thursday evening that he has not decided if he will seek the death penalty. “That decision is still being deliberated,” Nichols said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office also is mulling the possibility of seeking a death sentence in the federal case, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings has said in court.
The presentment sought by Nichols’ office is replete with allegations of torturous acts of violence against the young couple, who had been out on a date Jan. 6 when the pair apparently were confronted by gunmen, bound, forced at gunpoint into the Chipman Street house where Davidson had been living, then attacked, raped and killed.
According to the presentment, which is a reflection of what prosecutors believe occurred, Davidson, Cobbins and Thomas all allegedly were involved in the carjacking itself. Only Davidson and Cobbins were accused of carjacking in the federal indictment issued earlier this month. Coleman is not accused in the carjacking. Instead, the presentment alleges that she joined the violent crime spree once the couple was forced into the Chipman Street house. Search warrant affidavits already made public had revealed that Coleman was in the house when Newsom and Christian were attacked.
The presentment also reveals that Newsom was raped, an allegation that had not yet been made public. All four suspects – Cobbins, Davidson, Thomas and Coleman – are alleged to have participated in committing a particular sex act against Newsom. The same four are accused of committing three distinct acts of rape against Christian.
All four are accused of plotting Christian’s death as well as killing her and Newsom in the commission of kidnapping, rape and theft. Only Cobbins, Davidson and Thomas are accused in the premeditated murder of Newsom and the killing of Christian and Newsom in the commission of robbery.
There are far more individual charges in the presentment than the foursome would be punished for if convicted of all 46 counts. That’s because each charge has different definitions under state law.
For instance, in the kidnapping section of the presentment, there are two separate types alleged. The first involves a kidnapping carried out with a weapon. The second alleges a kidnapping that led to serious bodily injury.
The method of charging “in the alternative,” as it is known under the law, gives jurors more choices and prosecutors better odds of snaring convictions. If jurors don’t believe, for example, that a kidnapping at gunpoint occurred, they still might be swayed that a kidnapping involving serious injury or death took place.
Nichols declined Thursday evening to say where the carjacking took place. He joins a long list of authorities involved in the case who are keeping mum on that key bit of information. It’s not clear why the carjacking site is being veiled in secrecy.
Nichols praised the work of a plethora of law enforcers working the case, including officers with the Knoxville Police Department and Knox County Sheriff’s Office as well as the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
“It is something to behold,” Nichols said of that work. “It’s been unlike anything I’ve ever seen. People worked literally around the clock, days without end, still working.”
Nichols said he did not anticipate any new arrests in the state court case. Federal prosecutors have said they expect to beef up their indictment but have not revealed whether that would include the addition of any other suspects.
Coleman is not named in the federal indictment. Thomas is not charged in the federal indictment with carjacking, although he is accused of a similar offense in the state presentment. Instead, he is currently only accused in the federal case as an accessory by helping Cobbins flee.
A tribute to Channon on youtube by one of her friends can be found here:
Channon Christian’s friends even made a special webpage for her on the Facebook website called “Please Pray For Channon Christian.”Close to 500 people have sent their thoughts out there to her online.Friends of Channon said this in a news article:
“She was a really nice girl. She was really fun. She was hilarious. She always had funny things to say,” Wyatt Clemmer went to school with the 2003 Farragut High School graduate, and has good friends with Channon Christian and her family for years. “An honest and good person, full of life. Really just enjoyed everyday, enjoyed the people she was around and really loved her family.”
The unimaginable pain that these parents friends and family members are going through must be immense. More so, the unimaginable things that these two young people went through in the last moments of their lives cannot be fathomed by most of us.
I cannot get a grasp on what makes people do this to other humans. My prayers go out to the families and friends.