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Letalvis Cobbins goes on Trial is Found Guilty
Compiled by Lewis Loflin
Monday August 17 Knoxville: Letalvis "Rome" Cobbins according to his attorney Scott Green was a "coward" and didn't deserve the death penalty. This "coward" then blamed others for the horrific murders of Christian and Newsom and he just went along for fun. According to the Prosecution the object was "the pleasure they got from that girl. (And) you can't enjoy the girl until you get rid of the guy." They claim race had nothing to do with it as they brought in an outside jury (I think from Nashville) of four whites, seven blacks and one Asian.
There is simply no doubt at this point this gang is guilty. The earlier conviction of Eric Dewayne "E" Boyd (see below) made it clear what was coming even as the remaining rats are jumping ship and pointing fingers at each other. Mr. Green blames Cobbins' "brother" Lemaricus Davidson, 28, and accomplice Eric Boyd. Davidson had been recently released from prison prior to this latest crime for carjacking. He goes on trial next month.
Defence attorneys earlier in the year argued that the death penalty against the four was unfair because they were black. Too many blacks are on death row and that is racist in itself, guilt be damned. The scumbag then pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery and one count of rape, but pled not guilty to the rest of the 38 counts against him for the January 2007 abduction and torture deaths of Channon Christian (21) and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom.
By Friday August 21st the Prosecution had rested its case after scores of witnesses, including Davidson's ex-girlfriend Daphne Sutton. She got Channon's personal items as gifts and claimed she didn't know Channon was being held in the bathroom a few feet away. It's makes no sense when she claims she only went by to get her clothes but only noticed Channon's were just a little too big. Give me a break! What the hell was the chances for two totally different women having the very same clothes to the point one didn't notice it at first. In the Boyd trial he claimed she was in on horror, but they refused to prosecute her because she is white and her uncle is a cop. She also claimed Davidson choked and hit her while Cobbins stood by and did nothing. This was to add to the claim he was just a coward with his brother.
The Prosecution once again presented the gruesome pictures of the victims that sent their families into tears. To quote Channon Christian's mother, Deena Christian, "We've seen the pictures, but hearing her describe it makes it worse." The details included how Newsom was bound and shot three times. One gun shot paralyzed his right arm, another severed his spine, and a final shot to the head killed him. A picture of Newsom's muddy, bare feet was the worst for his parents. He had been marched out half naked and barefoot in freezing weather before being murdered. The "Coward" sat with his head hunched down while this went on.
The medical examiner said Channon wasn't strangled and was alive when stuffed into the trashcan. They put a "plastic bag over her head--body position---died of lack of oxygen. She died with her eyes open." Also Channon's rape was not "typical...much more than that." Extensive bleeding and bruising. The Examiner said Christian likely died late Sunday/early Monday. The rapes happened Sunday morning or afternoon at the latest. After some later bickering and snickering the Examiner said, "I'm not here to tell you who did what. I'm here to tell you want victims went through...how they suffered. They suffered for a long time."
But the nonsense from the Prosecution about motive being "the pleasure they got from that girl. (And) you can't enjoy the girl until you get rid of the guy" makes no sense because Newsom had also been gang-raped by the savages. The other problem is this was a known gang of drug dealers and car-jackers on a running crime spree. So why were this two alone singled-out for this horrible sexual abuse and torture while others weren't? It seems the police want to stay away from hate crime charges for both political reasons and it would be easier to prosecute the animals. The other question is why didn't police deal effectively with the endless crime wave?
"I didn't do anything to stop it," said Letalvis "Rome" Cobbins before a Knoxville jury Saturday August 22, 2009. His testified in his own behalf against the advice of council. His attorney Scott Green called him, "a liar, a rapist and a coward, but they haven't proved he's a killer." Assistant District Attorney Takisha Fitzgerald (a good person like most black people) did claim Cobbins didn't know the names of the victims. But she wasn't having any of this nonsense. She told the jury this was his version number eight of events that differed from the previous seven sets on tapes. Much of which was played to the jury. Much of Cobbins babble didn't add up. He was convicted on August 25, 2009.
According to Cobbins (he pleaded guilty to one count of rape) Channon offered him sex for his help, but he felt it was wrong because it was against her will. This happened at the house on Chipman Street. ADA Takisha Fitzgerald believes Newsom was also raped in the Chipman Street house because he was bound with bed sheets. Cobbins claimed to know nothing about it. She also said Cobbins could at least admit he tore Christian's lip from her gum when he had (oral) sex with her. He could have saved the kids but chose not to.
Friday just wasn't a good day for Cobbins. First his lawyer couldn't locate his witnesses: one can't be found and the other has vanished. Later in the day his lawyer wanted the charges dropped because the state hasn't proven premeditation; no says the Judge. It's up to Cobbins if he wants to testify, he has until Saturday to decide. On Saturday he decided to take the stand in his own behalf, his lawyers asked to be dismissed, the Judge refused.
The story according to Cobbins
Cobbins claimed his girl friend Vanessa Coleman and George "Detroit" Thomas came with him from Kentucky to visit his brother Lemaricus Davidson for a 2007 New Years party. Davidson had been in jail and they'd not seen little of each other in years. He claimed they'd been smoking pot (blunts) and claimed it tasted funny and was damp.
They had been driving around and according to him they spotted Christian and Newsom hugging or kissing. He claimed Davidson and Boyd jumped out and carjacked them. The following are some press extracts:
Cobbins said he didn't know they were going to do this and tried to refuse to be part of it, but Davidson told him to follow them back to Davidson's house on Chipman Street. That's where Christian's body was found three days later. Eventually, Christian and Newsom were brought back to the Chipman Street house and all four suspects were there. Cobbins said he told Thomas and Coleman they should leave because of what was going on, but that never happened. He repeatedly said he told Davidson what they were doing was crazy and "ya'll trippin."
Cobbins said Davidson called everyone into the living room and told them they were being too quiet and demanded to know what they were doing. Cobbins said he told Davidson they were going to leave. That's when he said Davidson pulled a gun without pointing it at anyone and told them he'd shoot them, but not kill them, if they tried to leave. Cobbins said he decided he had no choice but to stay so he sat down. He and Coleman smoked more pot...
He said Christian asked him what was going on and he said he didn't know. He said she also asked if he knew where her boyfriend was and he said he didn't know. Cobbins said Christian asked him if he could talk Davidson into letting her go. He told her that he would try. He said she told him she'd do anything and even offered oral sex. He accepted her offer and heard noises that concerned him as he ejaculated.
(Deena Christian had to calm Gary her husband down as Cobbins went into graphic details on what he did to Channon.)
Cobbins said he put Christian back like he'd found her and went back into the living room with Coleman. He said Davidson and Thomas came back into the house for awhile, left about half an hour later, then returned again later. Cobbins said he noticed dark stains on Davidson's and Thomas' shirts after they came back the second time. Cobbins said Davidson would tell him stories when they were growing up about carjacking people, then taking them to an ATM, making them withdraw money and leaving them tied up. So he said he thought Newsom was tied up somewhere. Saturday night ended...
Cobbins said he asked Davidson again what's he doing and tells him that he's "trippin." "I didn't do anything to stop it," Cobbins said. "I didn't do anything to stop it." Cobbins said Davidson tried to force Coleman to check Christian's pulse, but she said she didn't know how to do it, that she wasn't a nurse. He said he spoke to Thomas again of trying to leave, but Davidson threatened them. Cobbins said Davidson tied Christian up in a fetal position, then he broke down in tears for a moment. He said Davidson put Christian in the trash can and made everyone else go into another room. "After it got daylight," Cobbins said, Davidson left and the rest of them left the Chipman Street house on foot.
He said they went to the house of Vincent Wernimont, who got drugs from Davidson, told him what happened and they talked about what to do. He said they stayed at the house of a drug addict, then later got a ride back to Kentucky. Cobbins said he called his mother and told her what happened. She asked him why he didn't call the police or try to stop it. He told her that he couldn't and didn't know what to do. He said he called his mother and sister again later and learned his and Davidson's pictures were on the news as wanted in connection to the murders. Cobbins said they connected to his cousin on a three way call who told him that he'd be implicated in the crimes. His family told him they'd get attorneys and he decided to call the police from a pay phone the next day to tell them what happened...
I sit here in front of ya'll today and admit I lied repeatedly about what happened. You all are probably wondering, why should you believe me now when I lied to the police so many times?" "I don't have nothing to lose. My DNA was on that girl. I didn't have any knowledge of what was going to happen. I didn't want to be a part of it." Cobbins said he's not asking the jury to disregard what he did because "I'm wrong for that" and "I deserve to be punished." Then he told the families he's sorry. Cobbins' attorneys didn't ask him any questions while he was on the stand. The defense rested its case after Cobbins testified.
Cobbins Guilty, But Will Live
By Monday August 24, 2009 officials in Knoxville are going through 900 people to get a jury for the September trial of Lemaricus Davidson. For the Cobbins trial they had to bring in a jury from 150 miles away. On Tuesday August 25, 2009 they did think he was liar. According to www.knoxnews.com "Jurors this morning convicted Letalvis Cobbins of first-degree murder in the torture-slayings of Knox County couple Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
The verdicts, after being reviewed by Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, were announced before a packed courtroom. Jurors on Wednesday will begin a penalty phase...The jury concluded that Cobbins had responsibility in all the crimes committed against Christian, 21, including first-degree murder. That conviction carries the death penalty. The same panel, however, convicted him of the lesser charge of facilitating the murder of Newsom and acquitted him of charges involving the rape of Newsom, 23."
On Wednesday day nine of the Cobbin's murder trial ended with disappointment for the families of Newsom and Christian. Cobbins was cleared of the murder of Newsom, but convicted on Channon Christian's death. "The families of a young Knox County couple tortured and killed in January 2007 tonight sharply criticized a jury's decision to spare defendant Letalvis Cobbins the death penalty after a two hour deliberation." so says the Knoxville News Sentinel.
To quote Mary Newsom, mother of murder victim Chris Newsom, "I think the jury has let us down...I think they've let Channon and Chris down. We were hoping for the death penalty." Defense attorney Scott Green said, "I don't think any of us have seen a case quite like this...What we need to do is focus our prayers on these families."
None the less ADA Fitzgerald urged the jury to sentence Cobbins to die and said, "We asked you if you could sign your name to the verdict form sentencing the defendant to death...The time is now" Cobbins age 26 should die in prison his attorney countered. They brought in a parade of his relatives telling everyone it really wasn't his fault but bad family and the usual nonsense. Mom was a drug addict and dad an alcoholic. (His father who lived in Knoxville never came to the trial.) They claimed it was their failure, not his. As one tearful sister said, "I know you hate his guts, but we love him."
The Christian family also spoke of their love for their daughter, but it got no traction. In the end they said, "The Jury let us down." Everyone agreed police and prosecutors did a great job and they did. The chances of the death penalty on a young black man with six blacks on the jury was very unlikely anyway. The criteria for the death penalty is so narrow I don't think the Prosecution met it. He should die anyway in my opinion even if the victims were black and he was white. This is about crime not race, but if the races were reversed the liberal media would make it about race. Special thanks for the great reporting of Jamie Satterfield and the Knoxville News Sentinel.
This is the second guilty conviction in this case where the culprit was spared what they inflicted on the victims.
Update on Cobbins: Letalvis Cobbins will serve his life sentence in medium security prison and that has prompted some questions as to how that decision is made. As for why Cobbins was placed in medium security, state officials said every inmate is given a custody assessment when they are first brought into the system. In Cobbins' assessment at the Charles Bass Correctional Complex, he was rated at medium on the incarceration level.
Most inmates are initially given a medium classification when entering the system. Because of Cobbins' felony murder conviction, he will never be dropped to a minimum-security level, meaning he will never be allowed outside the fence. As long as he makes no trouble, he will work for 17 cents an hour at a prison job or attend classes. (Classes for what?) He can roam the facility.
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