In what is already an unbelievable series of events in what many consider the most horrific kidnap-rape-torture-murder crime in Knoxville's history, convicted killer Lemaricus Davidson has raised new issues in support of his bid for a new trial.
Davidson's attorneys have filed the affidavit of a bailiff who served during the 2009 trials. The bailiff claims that the jury had a praise service before deliberations, one juror played the guitar and led the others in singing, and one juror read a Bible verse--Psalm 90, verse 12.
Davidson did not testify in his first trial, but through his attorneys it was claimed that the victims Channon Christian and Chris Newsom came to Davidson's Chipman Street house voluntarily to buy drugs and Davidson's DNA happened to be on Christian's tortured body because he and Channon Christian had been lovers. Davidson was convicted and was the only one of the defendants sentenced to death.
The first trials of Davidson and the other defendants were tainted by the subsequent revelations that the presiding Judge, Richard Baumgartner, was taking drugs that he obtained from his mistress who "graduated" from the Drug Court that Baumgartner established. Baumgartner was allowed to resign but federal authorities later charged him with federal crimes related to his drug activity. Baungartner was convicted in federal court. Click here for prior posts on the Judge Richard Baumgartner saga.
One defendant Vanessa Coleman has already had a new trial and was convicted again in what could be considered a compromise verdict. Click here.
Click here and here for updates on Davidson's motion for a new trial.