Two bills pass after testimony from Christian-Newsom families

Two bills pass in State Senate committee after testimony from Christian-Newsom families

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The mothers of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian gave emotional testimony Tuesday, pleading with the Tennessee Senate judiciary committee to make changes in the justice system. The mothers of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian gave emotional testimony Tuesday, pleading with the Tennessee Senate judiciary committee to make changes in the justice system.

NASHVILLE (WATE) - Parents of the young Knoxville couple killed in a shocking murder case spent Tuesday in Nashville, urging  lawmakers for change in the justice system after their ordeal.

Channon Christian and Chris Newsom were tortured, raped and killed in January 2007.   

Four people have since been convicted, but the process included four trials, four retrials, scores of hearings and years of anguish for the families.

The mothers of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian gave emotional testimony Tuesday, pleading with the Tennessee Senate judiciary committee to make changes in the justice system.

They told committee members that not only did they lose their children so tragically, but then they had to go through multiple retrials because former Judge Richard Baumgartner was on drugs.

The committee passed two bills. One would create the presumption that a judge approves a verdict following a unanimous verdict and the other has to do with character evidence.

Deena Christian told the committee the defense unfairly criticized Channon's character, saying she did drugs even though medical reports show she didn't have any narcotics in her system.

Both families say these flaws in the justice system need to be changed so that other families aren't forced to endure the same heartache.

Both of the bills will now go to the Senate Calendar Committee.

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