Jury selection continues in Cobbins murder trial

Jury selection continues in Cobbins murder trial

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Letalvis Cobbins Letalvis Cobbins

By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) -- The selection of a jury in the first trial of the suspects accused of killing Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom will continue in Nashville on Friday.

Attorneys for both sides began questioning the potential jurors in Davidson County for the trial of Letalvis Cobbins Wednesday.

The questions have focused on the death penalty and pre-trial publicity. One man in the jury pool told 6 News he feels, "If you take someone's life, for whatever reason, just whether you're crazy or whatever, you deserve the death penalty. No matter what."

The murders have received more than two years of publicity in Knoxville and even national attention.

In September 2008, Judge Richard Baumgartner said in a preliminary questionnaire of 301 people eligible to be Knox County jurors, only 17 said they'd never heard of the case, causing his ruling for the jury to come from outside Knox County.

However, the jury pool members in Nashville said Wednesday they weren't aware enough of the publicity for it to color their opinions.

Cobbins was brought to Nashville for the selection process.

Before Wednesday's questioning began, one of Cobbins' two attorneys, Scott Green, asked for the court to be careful about its wording.

Green said there seems to already be an emphasis on the sentencing phase and his client is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The first day of jury selection was July 27. That's when Judge Baumgartner and the attorneys polled potential jurors using a questionnaire with 120 questions.

Three other suspects are charged in the case: Lemaricus Davidson, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman. They're all facing the death penalty. The judge has denied several motions to take it off the table.

The jury for Cobbins' trial will be brought to Knoxville and sequestered.

The court hopes to have the jury seated by Friday, but it may take longer.


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