Judge extends Davidson trial delay due to scheduling conflict

Judge extends Davidson trial delay due to scheduling conflict

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LeMaricus Davidson LeMaricus Davidson

By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The trial of LeMaricus Davidson, the accused ringleader in the carjacking and murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, was delayed yet again Wednesday.

Judge Richard Baumgartner pushed the start date back two weeks from the original date.

Opening arguments are now scheduled for Monday, October 19.

A scheduling conflict for one of the state's key witnesses, Knox County Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic, was cited for the latest delay. She's due to be overseas when the start of the trial was originally planned.

The judge's decision to delay the trial comes just a day after the defense won a one week delay for new DNA testing.

On Wednesday, the victims parents were flabbergasted with yet another delay. At the same time they say they understand the importance of the medical examiner.  

"If we have to have a delay to have her it's worth it because she is very needed," said Chris' mother Mary Newsom.

But they are still hurt, Channon's parents Gary and Deena Christian are beyond aggravated with the legal process. They are upset the court doesn't consider their schedules. On Wedneday all four said another delay could be around the corner.

"I can guarantee they will come up with more motions to delay this case, just you wait and see," said Chris' father Hugh Newsom.

Delay causes another trial delay

The trial for another defendant in the case, George Thomas, is delayed till December 1. Jury selection, which is being done in Hamilton County, will now be held from November 18 to 20.

The Newsom and Christian families say they're upset by the latest delays.

Judge throws out police cruiser video

Judge Baumgartner agreed to a defense request and threw out police cruiser video of Davidson filmed right after his arrest in 2007. It showed him in the back of the cruiser.

The judge said because there's a portion during the ride when a detective asked Davidson how long he's been out of prison, it was inadmissible.

Judge: defense won't get more strikes for jury pool

The judge denied a defense request Wednesday to a defense motion seeking an additional 10 peremptory strikes to people in the jury pool. These are strikes that allow the defense to cut jurors without question.

In capital cases, the defense can have 15 strikes by rule. However, Davidson's defense said because of the publicity in this case and extent of the 46 count indictment of their client, they wanted 10 more.

The state had said Davidson doesn't deserve special treatment and there are no provisions allowing that kind of special exception.

Questioning the jury pool - the highlights

The first person, a man, was dismissed after he said if you live and breathe in Knox County, it's impossible to not know about this case. He also said it's impossible to find a jury in this county and told the defense to take the case far away.

The next man was dismissed because his sister-in-law was a teacher at Farragut and knew murder victim Channon Christian.

A young man was also dismissed after saying if you're charged, you're involved.

Another man was cut because he's a defendant on a pending criminal case.

Sleep apnea earned a dismissal for the next man.

The following man was cut because he admitted having sympathy for the victims families. The judge said he admired his honesty.

Thirteen people in the jury pool came to court Wednesday. Only three made the cut. 

Selection process as a whole

The individual questioning phase for the jury pool ended Wednesday with a total of 74 people remaining. They're due to come back Friday for group questions. 


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