Jury selection resumes in Nashville for Vanessa Coleman trial

Jury selection resumes in Nashville for Vanessa Coleman trial

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Vanessa Coleman Vanessa Coleman

6 News Reporter

NASHVILLE (WATE) - The jury selection process for the trial of Vanessa Coleman, the fourth defendant in the Christian-Newsom murders, resumed Tuesday in Nashville.

Coleman was in court for the process.

Nearly 110 jurors will be questioned during the next three days. On Friday, those remaining in the jury pool will return for group questioning.

Court officials questioned 35 people in the jury pool Tuesday. Twenty made the cut and 15 were dismissed.

Many of those dismissed were cut because they said they can't impose the death penalty, which the state is seeking against Coleman.

One person who was cut from the jury pool called the brutality of the crimes "unheard of."

Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Chris Newsom, were carjacked, robbed, repeatedly raped and murdered in East Knoxville in January 2007.

Newsom's shot, burned, bound body was found along a set of railroad tracks.

Christian's bound body was found stuffed in a trash can in the house where the couple was held after their carjacking.

Three jurors were told not to come back for the second round after they filled out questionnaires because they knew about the case and had opinions.

Prosecutors asked Judge Richard Baumgartner to bar the defense from bringing up federal investigators offering Coleman immunity, but the judge said it won't even come up.

Coleman was initially put in federal protective custody just after the crimes because she was identified as a possible witness.

Coleman signed away her right to custody right before she was interviewed by ATF Agent Bernard Waggoner in Knoxville.

Investigators originally found Coleman in Kentucky with two men convicted in this case, her ex-boyfriend, Letalvis Cobbins, and his friend, George Thomas.

Not long after the ATF interviewed her, Coleman was arrested in Kentucky and charged in the case.

The trial will be held in Knoxville, and the jury will be sequestered. Opening arguments are scheduled for May 3. Jurors will arrive the night before.

Cobbins and Thomas are serving life without parole for the murders.

LeMaricus Davidson, who is Cobbins' half-brother, received the death penalty.


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