Trials delayed for 2 suspects in Christian - Newsom murders

Trials delayed for 2 suspects in Christian - Newsom murders

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Letalvis Cobbins Letalvis Cobbins
Vanessa Coleman Vanessa Coleman

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The trials for Letalvis Cobbins and Vanessa Coleman, the first two suspects who'll be tried for the kidnapping, torture and slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, have been delayed.

Cobbins' new trial date is Wednesday, August 12. His previous trial date was Monday, July 6.

Judge Richard Baumgartner granted a request by Cobbins' attorneys for more time to prepare their case. 

Coleman's trial has also been delayed from its start date on Monday, August 10. No new date has been set.

Coleman's attorneys have sought to get the murder charge and some others against her dismissed since she was subpoenaed to testify in this case in federal court on January 17, 2007, soon after all four defendants were arrested.

The judge hasn't ruled on dismissing any charges against Coleman or granting her immunity so she can testify on Cobbins' behalf.

Prosecutors have said previously they have a very strong case against Cobbins and that's why they want to try him first.

The other two suspects charged in the case are Lemaricus Davidson and George Thomas.

The state has asked the judge to deny the defense's request to rule out the death penalty for  the suspects due it being racially motivated.

The state says similar cases have been thrown out by the Tennessee Supreme Court and there's no proof anyone involved in the crime was racially motivated.

Gary Christian, the father of Channon Christian, said by phone Thursday evening he's not surprised about the delays.

Christian said he was expecting them, but he's also pleased the Cobbins' delay isn't very long.

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