Judge allows 'racially charged' comment by Thomas in trial

Judge allows 'racially charged' comment by Thomas in trial

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George Thomas George Thomas

By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The judge ruled Monday to allow in trial a racially charged comment a sheriff's detective says George Thomas made while he was being interrogated.

Thomas is the third defendant to stand trial in the Christian-Newsom murders case. Opening arguments will be given Tuesday.

Earlier in November during a hearing, Knox County Sheriff's Detective Norman testified that as he interrogated Thomas after his arrest, they took a break, but he had asked if Thomas didn't wish he had done something to help the victims.

Detective Norman testified that Thomas responded, " F!#* that white girl. She don't mean nothing to me. You cops come into my neighborhood and kill us why should I get involved in something that's none of my business."

Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, were carjacked, raped and murdered in January 2007.

However, Judge Richard Baumgartner also ruled in favor of the defense Monday, saying a Kentucky State Police officer won't be allowed to testify about a computer found in the Lebanon, Kentucky home where Thomas was arrested shortly after the murders.

Two other defendants, Letalvis Cobbins and Vanessa Coleman were also arrested there.

Cobbins was convicted in August and sentenced to life without parole. Coleman's case is on appeal and no trial date has been set.

The homeowner, Natasha Hays, will be allowed to testify about the computer.

The prosecution had hoped the officer could testify about Thomas and Cobbins looking at online news about the murders shortly before Thomas and the others were arrested.

Judge Baumgartner also ruled Monday that letters Thomas wrote to Cobbins while in jail aren't admissible in the trial.

The letters were intercepted by an officer and never delivered to Cobbins.

The letters don't say anything about the crimes so the defense had argued they weren't relevant.

The officer will be allowed to testify that Thomas wrote letters to Cobbins and how he signed them, for example, "United Together Forever."

Judge Baumgartner also said he will allow a portion of a 15 minute phone call Thomas made to his girlfriend, Stacey Lawson, to be used in the trial.

In the call, Lawson asked where Christian was kept during the weekend of the murders. Thomas said she was kept in LeMaricus Davidson's room. Davidson was given the death penalty for his role in the slayings.

Lawson then asked why Thomas didn't call the police, Thomas told her, "Should have, would have, could have."

Thomas wasn't in court Monday.


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