Retrial of Christian-Newsom defendant begins today
A Nashville jury is in Knoxville today to begin hearing testimony in the retrial of George Thomas, one of five people originally convicted and sentenced for participating in the 2007 carjacking, rape, torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. In 2009, a Hamilton County jury found Thomas guilty for his role in the crimes and he was sentenced to life without parole. However, he was granted a retrial when it became apparent the presiding judge Richard Baumgartner was abusing painkillers during the trial. In November of 2012, a jury convicted co-defendant Vanessa Coleman on 13 of 17 counts in her retrial. Brothers Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins were denied retrials. A fifth defendant, Eric Boyd, was convicted in 2008 for being an accessory.