Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Knoxville Jury Pulls Its Punches; Life Without Parole For Channon Christian Murderer Letalvis Cobbins; Did The Black Jurors Push For Life?

Note: All posts on the Letalvis Cobbins trial available HERE; the most current post will appear first.

Gary Christian reacting to the life sentence

After just three hours of deliberations, the jury in the Letalvis Cobbins case in Knoxville, TN pulled their punches at the last moment. Instead of returning the death penalty, which seemingly was justified, they chose to sentence Cobbins to life in prison without parole. The jury had three choices: Life with parole, life without parole, and death. Death required an unanimous verdict.

Before deliberations, prosecutor Takisha Fitzgerald asked the panel of Davidson County residents to sentence Cobbins to die. "We asked you if you could sign your name to the verdict form sentencing the defendant to death," Fitzgerald said in closing arguments. "The time is now." Defense attorney Scott Green urged jurors to punish Cobbins by making him die in prison. "Make him suffer for every day of his life for what he did," Green argued.

Then came the impact statements. In his impact statement, Gary Christian said his daughter had "a beautiful face, a beautiful smile and a beautiful heart." He said she loved her friends and family dearly and was protective of her older brother. "The last thing she said to me was, 'I love you'. We think about her every day. We think about her every minute... .We have sought a doctor to seek help for the hate we live with," Gary said.

In her impact statement, Deena Christian said her daughter loved her brother, Chase. She was so proud of him. She would follow him all over the country to watch him pitch baseball. Channon "had so much love to give," Deena said. "She loved camping, golfing, four wheeling and hanging out with her friends."

Cobbins himself was also represented. His three sisters Misha Davidson, Laquitta Boddie, and Lakedria Davidson (oldest to youngest) all gave impact statements of their own. They painted a picture of a broken home headed by an abusive father. All of them described the pernicious and intimidating influence of Lemaricus Davidson in the home. A couple of cousins also chimed in.

Then the jury retired for deliberations. Three hours later, they emerged with the verdict - life without parole. However, we don't know which jurors wanted death and which wanted life, because they were not polled afterwards. Furthermore, Judge Richard Baumgartner said the jurors' names and the sentence will be sealed, but he will unseal them some time in the future. So we don't know whether or not it was the black jurors who pushed for life over death. The judge set a separate date of November 20 to sentence Cobbins in other crimes in this case. Knoxville News-Sentinel news video embedded below:

Afterwards, both the Newsoms and the Christians expressed disappointment in the life sentence, saying they did not get justice and that prison will be a country club for Cobbins, where he can get all the drugs and sex he wants. Gary Christian wonders what one has to do to get the death penalty in Tennessee.

It's unfortunate that this jury drew back and spared Cobbins' life at the moment of truth. But at least Cobbins will never walk the streets again, although Tennessee taxpayers will be supporting him the rest of his life. Cobbins showed his lack of genuine remorse and his desire to escape his share of the responsibility for Channon Christian's murder not only through the lies told during the interrogation, but also by his own testimony, in which he sought every opportunity to throw Lemaricus Davidson under the bus and market him as the "bad guy" (which undoubtedly he is). The strategy was intended to save Cobbins' life - and unfortunately, it worked, as the jury decided that mitigating factors superseded the heinous nature of the crime. The primary mitigating factor appeared to be that it was Davidson rather than Cobbins who committed the final acts on Christian leading to her death, and the jury wanted to distinguish between Cobbins and Davidson.

Nonetheless, Cobbins was still worthy of death in my opinion.

Media links:

-- Knoxville News-Sentinel: Torture-slayings trial, Day 9: Victim's families: Jury 'let us down' with Letalvis Cobbins verdict.
-- WATE Channel 6: Cobbins gets life without the possibility of parole.
-- WATE Channel 6 News Video.
-- WATE Channel 6 News Video (after the verdict).
-- WBIR Channel 10: Update: Cobbins jury reaches sentence.
-- WBIR Channel 10 Video: Gary Christian's victim impact statement.
-- WBIR Channel 10 Video: Deena Christian's victim impact statement.
-- WVLT Channel 8: LIVE BLOG: Jurors give Cobbins life without parole.

Discussion links:

-- VNN Forum: Channon Christian - Christopher Newsom Murder Trial Coverage
-- VNN Forum: Cobbins on stand: "I had oral sex with girl"
-- Stormfront: Live coverage of the Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom Trial
-- Stormfront: News Update Christian/Newsom Murders
-- Stormfront: SF Christian/Newsom Trials Audio Archive Thread.
-- The Phora: Knoxville trials. Christian and Newsom


Anonymous said...

Whites are pathetic - did they really believe a predominately Negro jury would hang their racial kinsmen? Go have a candle light vigil - and run if someone dares call you racist - in fact be more offended at being called racist than you are having your child tortured and murdered - that's a good Goy !

carl said...

this entire story is so heartbreaking its all i can do to read it.
i canot even formulate a response. i pray for the families of those two helpless kids.

LARS said...

A rapper, a blogger and when threats are true
Gene Policinski, First Amendment

Saying that someone deserves to be killed certainly gets anyone’s attention.

But when does saying that or something like it pass from just being hateful speech that offends, or just so much hot air, to what the law calls a “true threat” — and the catalyst for criminal prosecution?

For a Florida rapper, the lyrics he wrote for the song “Kill Me A Cop” recently resulted in a two-year prison term. And a New Jersey blogger, who sometimes hosts an Internet radio talk show, faces federal and state charges in Connecticut and Illinois for several Web postings in June.

Both cases raise questions about where the line will be drawn in today’s society — beset by the ongoing war on terror and shocked by all-too-frequent killings in small towns and big cities — on our freedom to speak freely even in harsh and offensive ways.

Court decisions stretching back to the 1960s offer some guidelines for us and for prosecutors in measuring whether our words are protected or not. A threatening statement can cross that legal line when it’s made or relayed directly to a person and when there’s a reasonable chance the threat can be carried out in an immediate, “imminent” way.

The Associated Press reported that Antavio Johnson pleaded “no contest” in July to threatening two Lakeland, Fla., police officers in a song he wrote, telling a detective while he was in jail on a drug charge that he had felt harassed by the officers. First Amendment advocates said the case raised the issue of whether you can be prosecuted just for expressing ideas, however repellent, rather than actions.

Johnson’s lawyer said he was just “blowing off steam” when he wrote lyrics that included the line, “I’m-ma kill me a cop one day.” But a local prosecutor said that by naming the two officers, the song entered a realm where “there were specific threats made to specific people.”


LARS said...


Federal authorities in Chicago say blogger Hal Turner was even more specific in what they say he posted online directed at three federal judges: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed,” and “Observe the Constitution or die.” The trio had recently upheld laws banning handguns in two Illinois cities.

The charge against Turner says he also posted the names, photos, phone numbers, work addresses and office room numbers of the three judges; a photo and map of the federal courthouse in Chicago where they sit; and promised to provide home addresses and maps for each.

Turner’s case has some echoes of a dispute that began in 1997 around a Web site named “The Nuremberg Files.” That site posted the names, photos and addresses of staff at clinics where abortions were performed. When anyone on the list was killed or wounded, the name was crossed off or shaded. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a $4.7 million damages award to a group of doctors who had sued the site’s operators in 1999. At one point during the lengthy appeals, the site was deemed a “true threat” by a federal judge, though no criminal charges were involved.

Just a few days ago, Turner’s attorney added a strange twist to the case — saying that Turner was an “agent provocateur” for the FBI for several years and had been instructed by agents on “what he could say that wouldn’t be crossing the line” about people in the right-wing groups he infiltrated — and that what Turner said about the judges was no different.

Nothing in the 45 words of the First Amendment says we cannot be impolite, argumentative, insulting, even vile. Real threats to life and limb, whether we sing, say or post the words, are not protected speech. Johnson’s case is over, and for Turner the distinction between protected speech and a true threat will be determined in court. But we should expect — and protect — vigorous debate over serious public issues, which may well provoke tempers as well as intemperate remarks.

Gene Policinski is vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C., 20001. Web: .

apollonian said...

There's No Civilization If Animals And Niggers Are Allowed To Pretend To Being Human
(Apollonian, 27 Aug 09)

Kentucky: thanks much for ur coverage and analysis. See, "Knoxville: Nigger...," 27 Aug 09. But note one other important thing:

It's well-known legal principle that accomplices are guilty of murder in a crime--EVEN IF THEY DON'T DIRECTLY PARTICIPATE. Thus get-away drivers are guilty of murder if their accomplices kill people in a bank-robbery, for example--they're guilty even if the bank-robbers themselves are killed.

Thus Cobbins is un-questionably guilty of murder of Chris Newsom, yet the assinine baboon jurors absolved the nigger--this is a gross idiotic outrage, typical of niggers and their mentality. Justice has obviously grossly failed yet once again.

Niggers are animals and purest, putrid scum--THEY'RE NOT OUR PEOPLE, and they need to be most strictly segregated fm white society. For it's too difficult and troublesome to distinguish niggers fm "black people," assuming there is such thing.

CONCLUSION: This so-called "trial" is already a gross travesty and outrage--yet another example of destruction of civilization of USA. Such again, is present degeneration in continuing culmination of "Decline of the West," by Oswald Spengler. Honest elections and death to the Fed. Apollonian