Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Knoxville Horror

Young Tennessee Couple Kidnapped, Raped, Mutilated And Murdered
Article by: John Brown's Bones

The Knoxville Horror was committed by five people against two total strangers.

WARNING: Please, if you are sensitive to depictions of violence do NOT read any further. This crime is so vile that there is nearly no comparison in contemporary culture for it. This is the only warning you will receive.

The Knoxville Horror is story of the most gruesome crime in America. Like a horror movie, a young couple is attacked, raped, hideously tortured, disfigured and then viciously murdered. Unlike a horror movie - all events surrounding the Knoxville Horror are all too true.

On Saturday January 6th 2007, Channon Gail Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 22, left on a date but would never return home. In the early morning hours of Sunday January 7th the couple was hijacked, bound and blindfolded and taken back to Lemaricus Devall "Slim" Davidson’s rented house at 2316 Chipman Street.

The next time they were seen it would be as burnt, dismembered dead bodies that would later be recovered in two different locations.

Shortly after the couple's disappearance, Christian's parents found her abandoned tan Toyota 4-Runner two blocks away from the Chipman Street house the following Monday, with the help of her mobile phone provider. During this time both victims were still presumed to be alive.

An envelope recovered from the vehicle yielded fingerprint evidence that immediately led Knoxville police to Lemaricus Davidson and 2316 Chipman Street. When police went to the address on Tuesday, January 9th, they found the home unoccupied and part of Christian Newsom’s body in a trash can in the kitchen.

According to the Grand Jury Presentment, Christian was raped vaginally, orally, and anally.

Vanessa Coleman, picked up by KPD in connection to the disappearance, told police that she witnessed Christian’s mouth being cleaned with a bottle of some type of cleaner in an attempt to remove DNA evidence from the men at the apartment all of which which convicted felons with DNA on file.

Coleman also said that she had seen “clothes that were stained with blood and smelled of gas" being put in the washing machine at the house. Newsom’s body was found adjacent to railroad tracks in East Knoxville the next afternoon. Newsom was repeatedly raped anally and then murdered.

George Thomas, Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, Eric Boyd and Vanessa Coleman
Rapists and murderers George Thomas, Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, Eric Boyd and Vanessa Coleman.

George “Detroit” Thomas, 27, faced a total of 46 charges. Thomas was indicted on 16 counts of felony murder growing out of rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 2 counts of premeditated murder, 2 counts of especially aggravated robbery, 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft.

Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson, 25, faced a total of 46 charges. During questioning with police detective Davidson tried to blame his half-brother Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins for the murders while insisting, even though the bodies, DNA and other evidence where found in his house (and he admitted driving the victims' vehicle), that he was an innocent crack dealer.

Davidson was indicted on 16 counts of felony murder growing out of rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 2 counts of premeditated murder, 2 counts of especially aggravated robbery, 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft. Davidson had completed serving a five-year sentence in Tennessee on a previous felony conviction for carjacking and aggravated robbery on August 5th 2006.

Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins, 24, faced a total of 46 charges. Cobbins was indicted on 16 counts of felony Murder growing out of rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 2 counts of premeditated murder, 2 counts of especially aggravated robbery, 4 counts of especially Aggravated Kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft. In 2003, Cobbins was convicted of third-degree Attempted Robbery in New York state. He and Davidson are half-brothers.

Vanessa Coleman, 18, was arrested by police in Lebanon, Kentucky. She faced 40 Tennessee state charges. Coleman was indicted on 12 counts of felony Murder as well as Rape, Robbery, Kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 1 count of premeditated murder (of Christian only), 1 count of especially aggravated robbery (of Newsom only), 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft.

Further, Eric Boyd, 34, was arrested in connection with the fatal carjacking, but only faces federal charges as an accessory after the fact for helping his “friends” get out of town. He was not indicted by the Knox County grand jury. Boyd was accused by Thomas and Cobbins of rape and murder and a search warrant was obtained for Boyd’s DNA.

According to one e-mail report which was confirmed by Snopes.com, the group car-jacked then raped Christopher Newsom, cut off his penis, then set him on fire and fatally shot him several times while they forced his girlfriend, Channon Christian, to watch. Channon Christian was beaten and gang-raped in many ways for four days by all of them, while they took turns urinating on her. Then they cut off her breasts, put chemicals in her mouth and then attempted to murdered her.

Channon Christian's death came only after hours of sexual torture, Knoxville medical examiner Mileusnic-Polchan testified. Channon suffered "horrific injuries" to her vagina, anus and mouth. She was not only raped but savaged with "an object," possibly a broken chair leg, the doctor testified. Some type of chemical or bleach was poured down her throat, and her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area, likely scrubbed with the same solution - all while Channon was alive, the forensic expert said.

She was then "hog-tied," with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered tightly with a small trash bag and her body stashed inside five large trash bags before being placed inside a large trash can and covered with sheets. Before being dismembered, Channon died slowly, suffocating, according to the Knoxville medical examiner.

Police noted that Channon's eyes were still open in the sack they found her head in.

In August of 2010, Lemaricus Davidson was sentenced to death by lethal injection and Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Vanessa Coleman has been convicted of facilitating the crimes and sentenced to 53 years in prison, later reduced to 35 years in 2013, and Eric Dewayne Boyd was convicted of federal charges as an accessory after-the-fact to carjacking and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

The lack of outrage, undeniable evidence and damning testimony against the five people involved in the Knoxville Horror is shocking. This crime is easily one of the worst events to happen since the Manson murders and yet remains almost completely unknown.

UPDATE 06/2013
One of the key figures from the Knoxville Horror murders, George Thomas, was once more tried and once more convicted of the murders and rapes of a young Tennessee couple in January of 2007 after an appeal was granted in the original case.

Thomas was originally convicted in December 2009 and sentenced to life without parole. He was awarded a new trial in the wake of a pill scandal involving the original trial judge — Richard Baumgartner.

Today, Senior Judge Walter Kurtz sentenced Thomas to two consecutive life terms — one for the death of Channon Christian and one for the death of Chris Newsom. He then added an extra 25 years for the rapes of both victims.

George Thomas had no reaction when the sentence was read.

References:
Wikipedia, Murders Of Channon Christian And Christopher Newsom
WATE, Judge Warns Victim's Family About Comments To Defense Attorneys
Human Events, The Knoxville Horror
Sullivan County, WCVA Report