Knox County DA to appeal new Christian-Newsom trials ruling

Knox County DA to appeal new Christian-Newsom trials ruling

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Letalvis Cobbins and LeMaricus Davidson in court Letalvis Cobbins and LeMaricus Davidson in court

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols said Wednesday he will file appeals of the ruling granting new trials in the Christian-Newsom murders.

Nichols says he made the decision after conferring with the Tennessee Attorney General's Office and discussing it with the families of the victims, Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Chris Newsom.

The couple was carjacked, raped and murdered in January 2007.

The four defendants, who were all previously convicted in connection to the case, are LeMaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman.

The DA's office is working with Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and his staff to prepare the appeals. The deadline for filing them is shortly after the first of the year.

Since these are open cases, Nichols declined to comment further except to say there are related motions with some of the same issues in the Christian-Newsom murders pending in the Knox County Criminal Court system.

Rulings by former Judge Richard Baumgartner have been upheld in some of these, and several are still pending.

Nichols expects his office will appeal many, if not most, of the cases if they're dismissed.

Baumgartner presided over all four of the Christian-Newsom trials. He pleaded guilty to official misconduct in March and resigned from the bench.

The ex-judge was the subject of a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe that found he was abusing prescription pills and having a relationship with Deena Castleman, who was a graduate of his Drug Court program, during the trials.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood overturned the convictions in the Christian-Newsom trials earlier in December and granted the defendants' motions for new trials.

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