On Wednesday morning, the jurors in the second Knoxville Horror murder trial convicted ”alleged ringleader” Lemaricus Davidson, aka "Slim,"Â of 35 out of 38 state felony charges, including of murdering Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23, of kidnapping both victims, robbery, repeatedly vaginally and anally raping Christian, and of facilitation in the gang-rape of Newsom. It could not be proven that Davidson had actually raped Newsom, a crime which was apparently committed with an object.
The penalty phase, in which Davidson is eligible for the death penalty, begins today.
Davidson’s attorneys had sought–with the help of incredible, ”never-before-heard” testimony by a friend of Davidson’s, Ethel Lynn Freeman, which contradicted testimony she had given in the two previous trials–to portray the victims as druggies who had voluntarily gone to the house on Chipman Street, where Channon Christian’s tortured corpse would later be found, seeking drugs, and that Christian had voluntarily had vaginal sex with Davidson. The jury did not buy the incredible story.
Reader ”D,” who has functioned as my unofficial research assistant on this case wrote,
"Before the guilty verdict today, Gary Christian, Channon's fatherÂ held a press conference. A video is on the right side of the page. He blasted the legal system for allowing his daughter to be slandered on no evidence. He said, 'I don't care who you are...anybody insinuate that my daughter was down there buying drugs, was doing drugs, all that crap, look for a lawsuit.'
Also, 'And that Channon Christian may have had consensual sex with that animal, over my dead body. The next person that says out of their mouth that my daughter had consensual sex with him, ain't got but one person in this world to deal with and that's me, over my dead body.'
I'm sure you are aware of the guilty verdict today in the second Knoxville Horror trial. Davidson went down on all the main counts. Most important, BOTH murders, unlike the Cobbins trial.
At least in the guilt phase, the attempt to say that Channon Christian and Chris Newsom went to East Knoxville to buy drugs was afailure. The defense also kept inferring that Channon had 'consensual sex' with Davidson. They never left that theme.
Tomorrow they have the penalty phase. There is another set (if not the same ones)Â of weeping relatives from Memphis ready to cry for Davidson tomorrow. Will the judge affirm a death sentence if the jury hands it down? How fast will the appeal come?"
For better or worse, one cannot sue for slander on behalf of the dead.
DNA testing showed that Channon Christian’s underwear contained sperm from two men that did not match any of the men charged in this atrocity, or her boyfriend, Chris Newsom. (None of the sperm found in her vagina and anus matched Newsom, either.) Ergo, in addition to the many as yet uncharged admitted accessories in this atrocity, there are likely at least two additional rapists and possible murderers.
In April 2008, Eric Boyd was convicted in a federal trial as an accessory after the fact to the carjacking, and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Boyd is presently appealing his conviction.
In August, Davidson’s half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins, aka ”Rome,” was convicted on 33 out of 38 state felony charges, including the aggravated rape and murder of Channon Christian, and sentenced to life without parole.