Judge denies request for new trial of Lemaricus Davidson in Christian Newsom murders

Lemaricus Davidson
Lemaricus Davidson(WVLT)
Published: Oct. 21, 2019 at 6:58 AM EDT
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Lemaricus Davidson appears in Knox County Court

LIVE: The man convicted and sentenced to death row in the Christian-Newsom murders is submitting a petition saying that new evidence revealed since his trial could have changed the outcome. The latest: https://bit.ly/2N5xfke

Posted by WVLT on Monday, October 21, 2019

The only man on death row in connection on the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom has been denied a new trial.

Judge Walter Kurtz denied Lemaricus Davidson's petition for new trial on Friday November 8.

Laywers for Lemaricus Davidson argued that new evidence revealed by George Thomas during

trial was enough to trigger a retrial.

Davidson was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 2009.

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Known as the "ringleader" of the killings, Davidson was found guilty on all the charges against him in the case. On the day he was sentenced, October 28, 2009, the jury reviewed police interrogation video of him. He had been interrogated by police on January 11, 2007 after his arrest. An investigator with the Knoxville Police Department said Davidson told him during questioning, "Selling dope, that's all I do, sell dope. I don't kill people though."

Throughout the questioning, investigators said Davidson's story changed, and he at first denied any knowledge of what happened to Christian and Newsom. "I ain't never see the girl in my life or the dude," Davidson said. "I had never seen them before in my life." However, investigators later said that he claimed two other suspects in the case, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas, carjacked the couple and brought them back to his home on Chipman Street.

"They came to the house. They already had the car and everything...They had both of them in the backseat tied up...I'm telling them, 'man, ya'll stupid'," Davidson said at the time.

Davidson claimed Christian grabbed his arm and said, "I don't want to die."

Davidson's defense argued that the couple wasn't carjacked, but, instead, went to the Chipman Street house of their own volition to buy drugs.

The jury didn't believe his story, however, and found him guilty on all counts. Davidson was sentenced to death. In 2016, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld two death sentences against him.

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