Crimetracker: Judge rejects motion for retrial based on "prayer service"

Lemaricus Davidson (Courtesy: Knox Co. Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Smiles were on the faces of Channon Christian's family as they walked out of the courtroom following Lamaricus Davidson's hearing Thursday morning after a judge denies a motion for a new trial because of a so-called prayer service that took place during the trial.

The hearing lasted less than an hour and Davidson's attorneys only called one witness, a former juror. The defense argued that the service organized during the trial created bias among the jurors.

The juror told the court that they had asked for the service to lift their spirits. He explained that after being shown pictures of the crime, the jury was emotional and "somber." He pointed out the service was not mandatory.

He said it lasted 25 minutes and the court had a copy of the songs sung during the service. The defense contended the songs were inappropriate.

"I don't recall having a prayer," the juror said.

A heated argument between the lawyers over whether a blog post by a juror, referencing bible readings during deliberations is proof of anything was struck down by the judge.

The judge concluded the hearing by indicating he we issue rulings on the rest of the motions for retrials by Davidson, Cobbins, and Thomas by next week.

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