Channon Gail Christian, 21, and Hugh Christopher Newsom, Jr., 23, were a couple from Knoxville, Tennessee. They were both raped, tortured and murdered after being kidnapped early on the morning of January 7, 2007. Their vehicle had been carjacked. Five suspects were arrested and charged in the case. The grand jury indicted four of the suspects on counts of murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft. Three of those arrested, Letalvis D. Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson and George Thomas, have been convicted on multiple charges including several counts of felony murder. After a jury trial Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death by lethal injection and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Vanessa Coleman has been convicted of facilitating the crimes and sentenced to 53 years in prison, and Eric Dewayne Boyd has been convicted of federal charges as accessory after the fact to carjacking and sentenced to 18 years in prison
On December 1st, 2011, new trials were granted to the defendants due to drug abuse by the presiding Judge
Governor Haslam, Mayor Brown and the Tennessee Supreme Court Justices,
It is with great urgency that I request you stop the impending retrials for the murderers of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. Not only were these innocent children the victims of a most heinous crime but their families were repeatedly victimized in the court of law during multiple trials. Now, due to a failure within your judicial system, these CONVICTED murderers are obtaining a "second chance" while the families can and will again be repeatedly victimized. This must not occur and I urge you to stop this insanity immediately. Judge Blackwood stated in open court that he found no situations where Judge Baumgartner misapplied the law in any of the four cases in the Christian-Newsom trials. Instead, he overturned the decisions by judge Baumgartner simply because he felt the judge’s personal behavior had given the judicial system a "black-eye." I beg of you, please do not again subject these families to this nightmare simply to improve your public relations.
A very concerned citizen