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Lemaricus Davidson Goes on Trial is Found Guilty
Among the mountain of forensic evidence are the many DNA samples from the body and cloths of Channon Christian, the DNA from two unidentified men has been discovered on Channon Christian's underwear. According to the motion filed on October 8 Chris Newsom and every defendant in the case were excluded as contributors to the DNA found on Christian's panties.
Officials found Channon Christian's DNA on her underwear along with an unidentified man's DNA. According to a report Christian's DNA overpowered the male DNA and TBI doesn't have the ability to separate the DNA to identify the male donor, a private lab is performing the analysis. Bickering over money for DNA tests has delayed Lemaricus Davidson's trial from September 29 to October.
Nothing seems to have come from this as of this writing. There was hope they could link Eric Boyd to the murder. Boyd was convicted on federal charges of carjacking, etc. He has never been charged in the deaths of Christian or Newsom. He has been ruled out.
Davidson's attorneys David Eldridge and Doug Trant say they have received death threats for months. The threats intensified when the Davidson trial was delayed on September 29th. That was due to some bickering over money to run more DNA tests.
Doug Trant: "So we take it seriously, obviously it's upsetting they're threatening our families as well as us." "If we can catch them they will be prosecuted." "By doing that you know we may have our families and our own lives to pay for it." "When they say something like how would you like your daughter raped and put in a garbage can, that's just totally uncalled for." "And let me say this we are not going to be intimidated we have both been doing this a long time, we know what our job is we're going to do our job and if somebody's trying to intimidate us, whoever they may be it's not going to work."
David Eldridge: "Neither Doug or I sought this case but when we take a job and we commit to the court that we are going to undertake that representation then we're going to do our very best. We're playing a role that the constitution provides for and it's a role that we should all value." Another witness that wanted cameras removed if she was forced to testify for fear of her life. The judge ruled she didn't have to.
This is uncalled for. It's the duty of Mr. Eldridge and Mr. Trant to defend their client. This website denounces this behavior in the strongest possible terms. While I'd like to see all of these criminals put to death if convicted, they also get due process so get over it.
Defense Attacks Victims
Davidson's lawyers are disputing felony murder charges by claiming Christian/Newsom were at the Chipman Street drug house to buy dope, and no kidnapping or robbery happened. They were there willingly.
Toxicology tests showed a small amount of alcohol in Christian's system and a mix of marijuana and amphetamines in Newsom's system. Defense attorney Eldridge told jurors in his opening statement that the "gang from Kentucky" (Letalvis Cobbins, Davidson's brother, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman) killed the young couple. They planted "all the evidence conveniently to be found in Mr. Davidson's home."
It turns out Newsom's best friend Josh Anderson told how he went looking for Newsom and Christian and found Newsom's pickup truck still in the parking lot at some apartments. He took out a set of golf clubs. (According to his mother he played golf all day Saturday before the faithful night.) Davidson's lawyer Doug Trant asked Anderson what else he took out of the truck. Anderson confessed he and a buddy removed Newsom's "weed" from his truck.
Trant later went on and asked Kara Sowards, Channon Christian's best friend, about a marijuana pipe found her apartment and about a bottle of hydrocodone pills found in Christian's SUV. She said the dope pipe wasn't hers and someone else "accidentally" left the pills in Channon's Four Runner.
The Newsom family had some words to say to defense attorney Doug Trant during a court recess. (I don't know what.) Judge Baumgartner blasted the Newsoms for the comments and warned the families they are not to approach the lawyers, talk to the media or public about this trial. Gary Christian said, "I feel like I just walked head on into Iraq, that's how I feel." And Deena Christian said, "We have no rights."
The parents of both victims are wearing their kid's pictures in court. The Defense objected earlier and asked for the buttons to be removed. Judge Baumgartner ruled the picture buttons could stay.
The Parents Take the Stand
Now the parents defend their kids and take the stand. Mary Newsom goes first. Defense attorney Doug Trant asked Mary Newsom in relation to Chris' drug use, "You don't know where your son bought his marijuana do you?" "I didn't know he smoked marijuana," she answered. Trant continued, "You don't know where he bought his amphetamines?" "I didn't know he took that either," she answered. She also said they didn't have to go to North Knoxville (where the killings took place) to get drugs because they are everywhere.
DA Fitzgerald bought out two paint cans and removed Chris' shoes. She identified them as belonging to her son. She said he had a "shoe fetish" and bought new shoes all the time. These were purchased November 28, 2006 for $135. Daphne Sutton and her pal Kassi Suttles later claimed Davidson was wearing Newsom's shoes and the shoes were found at the house where he was arrested. But Davidson wears a size 12 and Newsom wore size 9 1/2. Kassi Suttles claimed the shoes worn by Lemaricus Davidson were "dark blue" while the real color was silver and black. More on this Daphne later.
Now it gets better. Channon's mother Deena Christian told what she knew about Newsom's dope smoking. She said she knew about it, and on the issue of Chris using adderall, she answered, "I didn't know he did that but it doesn't surprise me." She claimed people can get adderall "just about anywhere" and her son Chase had a prescription for it and Channon also took it when cramming for a test. She let her daughter go out with a boy she knew was smoking dope?
The outraged parents said, "This is a murder trial. Channon and Chris were the ones that were murdered they shouldn't put the kids on trial," said Mrs. Christian. Those kids were totally innocent, completely innocent. They're not the one who should be on trial right now. Davidson is the one who should be on trial right now," added Mr. Newsom.
The Prosecution decided to go head-on against defense allegations that Christian and Newsom may have used drugs. Friends of Christian and Newsom claimed they didn't know where Chipman Street in North Knoxville was located. They claimed they never heard of Chipman Street.
Davidson was arrested at an abandoned home at 1800 Reynolds Street on January 11, 2007. Police say Davidson changed his story 4 times during an interview after arrest. He said he blamed himself for pressuring his brother Letalvis Cobbins to get some money.
The transcripts indicate Davidson cried and blamed George Thomas for Chris Newsom's murder and his brother Letalvis Cobbins for the carjacking Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. He said he panicked when he saw Christian tied up. He said she told him she didn't want to die and he left. Then he used Channon's SUV to deliver drugs to some of his customers and admitted to using drugs himself. He admitted being a gang member. To quote Davidson,
"...(sniff)...well that's what l'm worried about cause that's what I...that's...that's...that's...that's what I'm owning up to that's what...that's what I know is mine and I know l had something to do with is that right there. Selling dope.
that's what I do sell dope. I don't kill people though."
Davidson claimed he never saw the couple before the killing anywhere in the area. Others put him behind the wheel of Channon's SUV. Daniel Williams was a drug customer of Davidson's and went to the Chipman Street house to buy cocaine. He claimed seeing Davidson driving Channon's SUV. He said, "Slim (Davidson) was driving. He stopped. He said, 'I don't have anything.' Two other (men) got out of the vehicle. When I asked him where he got the car, he said he bought it for $4500." He was confused from drugs and mixed up the dates: "The days and dates I could not tell you." Davidson's ex-girl friend Daphne Sutton also placed him behind the wheel.
Quoting defense attorney David Eldridge on DNA: "All the DNA evidence in this case, all it's going to show you at the end of this trial is that Mr. Davidson had vaginal, vaginal intercourse with Ms. Christian."
He is trying to suggest the sex between Christian and Davidson was consensual and that semen in Christian's anal area was "drainage" from the vaginal area, where his DNA also was found. He said in the opening that Davidson had "vaginal intercourse" with Channon Christian. He also went on about the presence of Davidson's DNA on the inside crotch of Channon's jeans. He asked a Prosecution witness, "It would certainly be possible that Ms. Christian put her pants back on after sexual contact, correct?" he asked. "Yes," TBI agent Millsaps answered.
Channon Christian was found naked from the waist down stuffed inside a trashcan at the Chipman Street house wearing only a camisole and a sweater. A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation forensic scientist said he found bleach on torture slaying victim Channon Christian's cloths. This backs up Vanessa Coleman that alleged ringleader Lemaricus Davidson/others poured cleaning solution down Christian's throat in a bid to wash away DNA evidence of oral rape. This jury won't hear about Coleman's claim because higher courts have ruled one statement from one witness can't boost the statement of another witness. This is a big problem for the prosecution.
On the trash bags Channon was found in a TBI agent said, "I verified and I am a 100 percent sure those palm prints do belong to Lemaricus Davidson." When asked if the bags ever had trash in them said, "They were more like lawn bags than bags you put garbage in."
Knox County Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan said Newsom died first, likely within a few hours of the couple's alleged abduction. She said he was raped, an attack which included use of an object, at least an hour before he was bound and gagged and led to his death. He was shot three times, with the fatal shot an execution-style contact wound to the head. His body was later burned. She said Christian's attack spanned hours and included repeated rapes, blows to the head, grabs to her arms, kicking blows to her vaginal area and a cut on her hand. She said Christian suffocated inside the trashcan in which her body was found. One person fainted from hearing the horrific evidence and all hell broke loose.
The Prosecution wanted to show that the Christian/Newsom murders were part of a running crime spree. TBI Agent Linda Littlejohn testified that strips of cloth used to bind Newsom and fabric pieces found near his body came from the same material used to cover and bind Christian's body. She also was able to show how the material had been ripped to form the bindings. Another "expert testified Davidson's palm prints were on three of five trash bags wrapped on the body of Christian."
Knoxville Police Dept. firearms expert Patricia Resig said "that she could say with certainty that two of the three bullets fired into Newsom's body came from the same gun and the third one, identified as the kill shot, might have." But, "She could not, however, make a definitive match between those bullets and a gun found in Davidson's possession when he was arrested. She said she could not rule out the gun as having been the murder weapon.
Davidson sat stony-face when Daphne Sutton testified. She is a white drug addict and the niece of a Knoxville policeman. During the earlier Boyd trial he claimed she was in on the killing, but they refused to charge her because she is white. In October 2006, Daphne Sutton and Lemaricus Davidson moved into 2316 Chipman Street.
Daphne Sutton claimed she moved out of the house after Cobbins, Thompson, and Coleman moved in. She moved out on January 5, 2007. She then claimed two days later Davidson called her and said, "He told me he had some clothes for me and to come over." When she got there he refused to let into the kitchen and said Vanessa Coleman was in the bathroom. (This is where police believe Channon was being held.) She claimed Davidson told her Boyd had converted to Islam in prison and hated white people. He was in on the original car jacking.
She got the clothing as gifts, which was later identified to be Channon's and left. She later called back whining the cloths were used. When Davidson came to pick up the cloths she saw him in "a Toyota 4Runner with stickers on the back identical to the stickers on Christian's SUV." Davidson was using Channon's cell phone.
There is controversy over Channon's cell phone use while she was being tortured and killed. Cellular phone records show that someone called her voice mail three times on Jan. 7, 2007 - at 3 a.m., again at 1:32 p.m. and a final time at 1:37 p.m. Did Lemaricus Davidson make the calls? Or was it Channon? Would she have given Davidson her password?
David Eldridge and Doug Trant suggested again that Channon and Chris went willingly with the killers to buy drugs and were not carjacked. They argue Channon alone would have known her password. Regardless of the arguing most of the cell phone records were verified going to sleaze Daphne Sutton Davidson's ex "ho" and her druggie friends.
During her testimony she revealed just what kind of low-life she and these people are. She first met drug dealer Lemaricus Davidson when he was banging one of her low-life friends. They broke up and she moved in. She is a drug addict as she testified on the witness stand. She was 22 at the time and took her two children (boy/girl ages 2 and 3) and moved into the crack house she and Davidson rented on 2316 Chipman Street. Where the hell were social services?
As she testified she banged Davidson in the "north" bedroom while these babies slept in the "south" bedroom. She said Lemaricus only smoked "weed" when they moved in, but soon started using cocaine. She was hooked on oxycodine. She started doing drugs with friends, usual story. The furniture in the house was hers and she took with her when she left Davidson. She claimed Davidson beat her up and the presence of the "Kentucky gang" made things worse.
Demands for a Mistrial
During Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan's testimony about Channon Christian's injuries, a Ms. Manning fainted and the jury was sent out of the courtroom.
David Eldridge: "We feel compelled to move for a mistrial. The jury has seen someone in a very visible way react to the evidence that we had previously objected to, we think that is the kind of prejudice that can not be overcome."
The judge denied the defense's motion for a mistrial on Saturday morning October 23, 2009. Then Judge Baumgartner informed Davidson that he must decide by Monday if he is going to take the stand. The judge reminded Davidson that he has the right to testify or not testify and only he can make that decision. But Baumgartner also warned Davidson that if he takes the stand, the prosecution could ask him about his aggravated robbery charge in January 2001.
Davidson pleaded guilty to a carjacking and aggravated robbery that happened in Jackson, Tennessee on September 6, 2000. Witnesses say they saw Davidson and another man steal a woman's SUV at a gas station. The victim, Catherine Hall identified Davidson as the man who pointed a gun in her face and demanded her SUV and took her money. Davidson served more than 5 years of his 8-year sentence in the West Tennessee State Penitentiary. He was released 5 months before officers arrested and charged him with the murders of Christian and Newsom.
In September, Judge Baumgartner ruled that the prosecution would not be able to bring up Davidson's previous carjacking conviction. Davidson decided not to take the stand and his lawyers will present closing arguments on October 27. The Prosecution rested on October 26.
On October 28, 2009, Lemaricus Davidson was found guilty on most counts including first degree murder. He was found not guilty on three counts of the aggravated rape of Christopher Newsom, but was found guilty of the lesser-included charges of facilitation of rape. On October 30, 2009 after the jury had deliberated approx. 3 hours, Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death.
The above was based on news reports, police reports, and videos of those on the witness stand.
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