On the evening of January 6, 2007, Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend Channon Christian made dinner plans and then were to go to a friend’s house to watch a movie. They would never be seen alive again. Now one of their killers is eligible for parole.
When Chris went to pick Channon up at a friend’s apartment complex, they were carjacked by multiple assailants. What followed was one of the most heinous, gruesome, and senseless crimes in Tennessee history. The couple were taken to a house in East Knoxville and held against their will where they were brutally tortured and raped for hours.
The details of their torture are so graphic and heartbreaking that I won’t go into much detail beyond this: After being tortured, Christopher Newsom was killed execution style by multiple gunshots before his attackers poured gasoline on his body and set him on fire. Channon Christian had bleach poured down her throat and on her body before being wrapped in plastic bags and placed in a garbage can in the kitchen of the house—all of this while she was still alive. Her last minutes on earth were spent slowly suffocating in a garbage can.
The five people responsible for these heinous crimes are: Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas, Vanessa Coleman and Eric Boyd. Boyd was given 18 years and the others will likely remain behind bars for the rest of their lives but incredibly, Vanessa Coleman had her sentence reduced by a third after a retrial and is set to go before the Tennessee Board of Paroles in early December, 2014.
Vanessa Coleman went into prison with a 35 year sentence. However, due to prison overcrowding she has to serve only 30% of her sentence before being eligible for a parole hearing. In addition to her sentence being effectively reduced by 70% she has been accumulating additional time toward an early release, up to a possible 192 days per year for good behavior.
During the course of Coleman's trial evidence was presented from her diary entry dated 3 days after the murder. For her part in the torture, rape, and murders she wrote: “I’ve had one HELL OF AN ADVENTURE since I’ve been in the big TN. It’s a crazy world these days! But I love the fun adventures and lessons that I’ve learned. Its going to be a long interesting year! Ha! Ha!”
Please sign this petition and help the families of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian keep Vanessa Coleman, Offender #473393 in prison for as long as possible.