Judge allows DNA evidence in Christian - Newsom murders

Judge allows DNA evidence in Christian - Newsom murders

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Lemaricus Davidson Lemaricus Davidson
Letalvis Cobbins Letalvis Cobbins
George Thomas George Thomas
Vanessa Coleman Vanessa Coleman

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Judge Richard Baumgartner ruled Wednesday to allow DNA evidence in trials for the suspects accused of killing Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in 2007.

The rulings affect the three men charged in the case: Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas.

One woman is also charged in the case, Vanessa Coleman. She wasn't part of the DNA evidence filing.

Christian and Newsom were carjacked, raped and killed in January 2007.

Attorneys for Davidson and Cobbins had filed motions to suppress the DNA evidence collected from their clients on their claim that the Chipman Street house where Christian's body was found searched illegally.

Judge Baumgartner ruled against the defense because earlier this week, he declared the searches of the house were valid.

Attorneys for Thomas also filed to suppress the DNA evidence, claiming affidavits failed to establish probable cause.

The state responded that it had properly disclosed the DNA evidence it had for Thomas and Judge Baumgartner agreed in his ruling.

The judge also wrote that the court found no evidence original DNA samples were lost or destroyed.

Davidson's attorneys had also filed a motion to declare the death penalty unconstitutional. Judge Baumgartner denied that motion.

Coleman's attorneys had challenged the death penalty in a motion that claimed it's racially disproportionate. That motion was denied as well.


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