First of 3 Christian Newsom hearings Thursday wraps up for the day

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- One down, two to go. The first status hearing for three men originally convicted of murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom wrapped up shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Thursday.

All three of them, Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, and George Thomas are seeking new trials following the conviction and disbarment of their original judge, Richard Baumgartner.

Davidson went first in an emotional hearing that saw Channon's father Gary Christian blurt an obscenity and storm out of the courtroom at accusations his daughter used drugs. Davidson's attorney argued there is proof Christian and Newsom knew Davidson prior to the crimes and were drug users. He insisted Davidson was gone before they were killed.

Davidson's attorney also said he wishes to use the next hearing, scheduled for January 10, to question jurors from the previous trial to discuss a worship service that may have improperly influenced their decision as well as a blog written by one of the jurors.

He asked the judge if if its possible to "weigh the legitimacy of the witnesses from a cold, sterile record."

Prosecutors rebutted by summarizing the evidence against Davidson, even playing his police interview, during which Davidson talked about the carjacking where some "dude was tied up in the back seat." In the interview, Davidson stops short of admitting he killed anyone, telling authorities he left before the killings happened.

Compounding that interview, the state argued, was the stuff found at Davidson's home which belonged to Newsom and a gun which showed he was guilty. It also pointed to Davidson's fingerprints in Christian's car and his DNA on her body, which, they said, proved rape.

Letalvis Darnell Cobbins (Courtesy: Knox Co. Sheriff's Office)
Lemaricus Davidson (Courtesy: Knox Co. Sheriff's Office)
Defendant George Thomas listens to proceedings on the third day of his torture-murder trial Thursday, December 3, 2009 in Knox County Criminal Court. Thomas is the third defendant to be tried for the January 2007 slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23. Thomas could get the death penalty if convicted. (Photo Courtesy: J. Miles Carey, Knoxville News Sentinel)

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