1st round of jury selection held in Knoxville for Davidson trial

1st round of jury selection held in Knoxville for Davidson trial

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LeMaricus Davidson sits at a table Tuesday with his attorneys LeMaricus Davidson sits at a table Tuesday with his attorneys

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Nearly 400 potential jurors filled out questionnaires Tuesday in Knoxville for the trial of LeMaricus Davidson, the alleged ringleader in the Christian-Newsom murders.

Nine hundred people were originally summoned to the Civic Coliseum. Court officials said 386 of those actually answered the summons.

SWAT teams were present and the jury pool had to go through metal detectors.

Two people were allowed to leave because they're convicted felons and can't serve.

Judge Richard Baumgartner told potential jurors he believes the jury will be sequestered for two weeks for this trial.

The judge also described Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom's carjacking, repeated rapes and murders in January 2007. He said it's astounding the amount of rumors and false information that exist about this case.

He also advised the jury pool not to read "hate blogs" about the case.

Judge Baumgartner asked the potential jurors to search their souls and answer the questionnaire honestly.

It's based on the questionnaire from the trial of Davidson's half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, who was sentenced in August to life in prison without parole for his role in the killings.

However, Davidson's attorneys added some changes to their questionnaire. For instance:

  • How afraid are you of becoming a victim of a crime?
  • Have you ever used Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or any other social networking site?
  • Do you consciously try to avoid seeing movies, TV programs or other media depictions that show graphic violence?

After potential jurors filled out their questionnaires, they had to promise under oath not to view any news related to this case and not to attempt to research the case.

The jury pool will continue the selection process on September 21. Davidson is the only defendant of the four to insist on a jury from Knox County.

The state filed a notice Tuesday saying if Davidson testifies, prosecutors would seek to cross-examine him about two convictions he had in 2001 for carjacking and aggravated robbery in Madison County.

Davidson served eight years in prison for those crimes.

The jury for the third defendant scheduled to go on trial for the Christian-Newsom murders, George Thomas, is being selected in Hamilton County.

Cobbins was tried in Knoxville by a jury selected from Davidson County.


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