1 suspect in Christian - Newsom murders wants Knox Co. jury

1 suspect in Christian - Newsom murders wants Knox Co. jury

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Lemaricus Davidson Lemaricus Davidson

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Lemaricus Davidson, a suspect in the 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, asked to be tried by jurors from Knox County.

The request was made to Judge Richard Baumgartner in a surprise move by Davidson's attorneys during a hearing Friday.

Davidson's attorneys wouldn't say what reasons they have for the request, claiming it would give away their strategy.

The victims' families were visibly surprised by the development in the court room.

"I turned around and looked at her (his wife, Deena,) and said, what's up with that?" said Gary Christian, Channon's father.

"We were trying to figure out what their strategy was? Was it a stall tactic? We figure they have to have something up their sleeve. I think they don't think they can pick a jury in Knox County, so therefore it would delay the trial," Denna Christian said.

"We will expect anything, but we're ready to go. We're ready for justice," said Christopher Newsom's mother, Mary Newsom.

Another suspect in the case, Davidson's half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, will be tried by a jury brought from Davidson County, where Nashville is the county seat. 

However, Cobbins' trial will be conducted in Knoxville. It's slated to begin on Wednesday, August 12.

Judge Baumgartner denied another motion Friday by Cobbins' attorneys for a change of venue.

The first round of jury selection for Cobbins' trial was done Monday in Nashville. A total of 175 potential jurors will return to the courthouse in Nashville on August 12.

The vast majority of the jurors are white. Judge Baumgartner said at least three African-Americans and one Asian person were dismissed from the jury pool.

Two other suspects are charged in the case, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman.

The two murder victims were white. All four suspects are black.


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