Same crimes, different strategies to garner retrials in Christian/Newsom slayings
By Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel
Gary Christian, center, the father of homicide victim Channon Christian, listens to arguments during a motions hearing for slaying suspect Lemaricus Davidson. Photo by Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
KNOXVILLE, TN (News Sentinel) -- They are each charged with the same horrific crimes, but three torture/slaying defendants on Thursday offered up very different strategies in their continuing quest for new trials.
Alleged ringleader Lemaricus Davidson insisted Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, were not kidnapped at all but came to his Chipman Street house in January 2007 to buy drugs. He sought to explain away DNA evidence linking him to the repeated rapes of Christian by saying he and she had been lovers.
With that alternate theory on the table, attorney David Eldridge argued the credibility of both state and defense witnesses were crucial to his convictions at his original trial in 2009, and, therefore, Senior Judge Walter
Kurtz cannot now simply review a "cold, sterile" transcript to decide if the verdict and death sentence meted out by the jury was the right call.