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 Post subject: GEORGE THOMAS RETRIAL
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:34 pm 
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At the moment date set for retrial.

George Thomas–Oct 22, 2012

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:52 pm 
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DA Randy Nichols hid signs of ex-judge Richard Baumgartner's misdeeds, attorneys contend
By Jamie Satterfield
Posted June 28, 2012 at 4 a.m.

Right motion. Wrong judge.

Quote:
....response to the state's bid to push Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood off the bench in one of Knoxville's most horrific criminal cases — the torture slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.


Quote:
"Counsel for (defendant George Thomas) agree that a motion to recuse was appropriate and should have been filed by the state, but not against the current judge (Blackwood)," the pair wrote. "A motion to recuse should have been filed years ago in this case concerning Judge Baumgartner."


Quote:
The News Sentinel had reported that the portion of the file made public revealed the two prosecutors who handled the Christian/Newsom trials saw Baumgartner as a motorist weaving on his way back from jury selection in the trial of defendant Vanessa Coleman and that Baumgartner later pulled the pair aside and admitted he had been driving under the influence of what he claimed were muscle relaxers.

The newspaper also disclosed that Nichols, in turn, confronted Baumgartner, who confessed he had been drinking an entire bottle of wine each night to ease insomnia.

But Dillard and Johnson added another revelation not contained in the part of the file made public.

"During this visit, former Judge Baumgartner told Mr. Nichols that he was drinking a bottle of wine a night while at the same time going to the Bradford Rehabilitation Clinic (an outpatient center in Knoxville) and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings," the pair wrote.

Worse, the attorneys contend, both Nichols and his staff kept these revelations secret from the lawyers in the Christian/Newsom case.



....more at link
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jun/2 ... e-richard/

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Defendant George Thomas' response to the state's request that Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood recuse himself

PDF (9 pages)
http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/ ... tates.html

Page 1
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Conclusion:
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:37 am 
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Christian/Newsom slaying suspect demands speedy retrial
By Jamie Satterfield
Posted July 12, 2012 at 6 a.m.

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Photo by J. Miles Cary
George "Detroit" Thomas is escorted to a holding cell after court Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Judge Kerry Blackwood
conducted a hearing to determine if new trials should be ordered for the defendants in the deaths of Channon
Christian and Chris Newsom. Blackwood granted new trials, agreeing with lawyers that presiding Judge Richard
Baumgartner's conduct led to fundamental structural flaws in the prosecutions.



No more delays.

So argues the defenders of George Thomas, one of four suspects in the January 2007 slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.

In a motion filed by attorney Stephen Ross Johnson, Thomas is invoking his right to a speedy trial in a move to prevent the Knox County District Attorney General's Office to challenge — for a second time — Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood's decision to grant Thomas and his three co-defendants new trials in the wake of a drug scandal involving the former judge who presided over the original trials.
<SNIP>
Thomas' new trial had been set to begin in October. However, state prosecutors have been trying to block three of the four new trials ordered up in the case since Blackwood made his decision last December. An initial appeal of Blackwood's ruling already has led to the postponement of new trials for Lemaricus Davidson and his brother, Letalvis Cobbins, and Blackwood has indicated Thomas' case likewise will not go to trial until sometime next year.

....more at link
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/jul/1 ... ds-speedy/

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:16 am 
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Prosecutors, judge spar; defendant in '07 Knox slayings continues push for speedy retrial
By Jamie Satterfield
Posted August 6, 2012 at 9 p.m.

Give me my new trial and give it now.

So says torture-slaying defendant George Thomas in the latest legal wrangling over Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood's decision to grant new trials to the defendants in the January 2007 killings of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.

Blackwood granted new trials to the four defendants, including Thomas, at a hearing last December. The state has been fighting the decision in three of those four cases ever since.

...more at link
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/aug/0 ... knox-push/

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Snippet from Wate.com article
http://www.wate.com/story/19321215/judg ... om-murders

Attorney Tom Dillard, who represents George Thomas, said the retrials were "properly granted." He said if the state wasn't happy with the decision, maybe it's not used to losing.

Dillard brought up other cases Judge Blackwood has handled with no state request for a recusal and said this case was unfair.

He's never seen a judge under such an unrelenting attack, Dillard said.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Defendant in Christian-Newsom case seeks U.S. Supreme Court review
By Jamie Satterfield
Posted August 24, 2012 at 4 a.m.

In yet another wrinkle in the ongoing saga over one of Knoxville's most horrific crimes, the nation's highest court is being asked to step in.

Defense attorneys Tom Dillard and Stephen Ross Johnson are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal on behalf of their client, George Thomas, to decide whether a doped-up judge can deliver a constitutionally sound trial.
...snip...
There was no DNA evidence linking Thomas to any of the crimes committed against Christian and Newsom. Those crimes included rape and murder. Although Thomas admitted he was inside the Chipman Street house where the couple were initially held captive, he insisted he spent his time stoned on marijuana, playing no part in any of the crimes.

Some 18 months after Thomas' arrest, Norman recalled a statement he said Thomas made shortly after the slayings in which Thomas allegedly stated, "That white girl, she don't mean nothing to me. You cops come into my neighborhood and kill us. Why should I get involved in something that's none of my business?"

Prosecutors sought to use that statement against Thomas at trial. Thomas' defenders insisted Norman concocted the statement in the wake of a realization the proof against Thomas was weak. Baumgartner allowed prosecutors to use the statement over defense objections.

Johnson contends in his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that the ruling is one example of how the judge's own criminal behavior clouded his legal judgment.

...more at link
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/aug/2 ... -seeks-us/

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Defendant in Christian-Newsom case requests to keep Judge Blackwood
9:10 PM, Oct 8, 2012

One of the defendants in the Christian-Newsom murder case is filing more paperwork with the state. This time around, the request involves a judge who's under fire.

George Thomas and his attorney say they want to keep Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood on the case. They say the judge is impartial and hasn't done anything wrong.

Blackwood has granted a new trial for George Thomas and other defendants in the case.

Prosecutors have argued Blackwood is too emotionally involved and can no longer fairly preside over the cases. Regardless, Blackwood says he is not stepping down.

...more at link
http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.as ... yid=237764

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:25 am 
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George Thomas granted new trial; motions denied for Davidson, Cobbins
Posted: Jan 16, 2013 6:00 AM
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Senior Judge Walter Kurtz ruled Tuesday to grant a new trial to George Thomas, one of the four defendants in the Christian-Newsom murder case.

Letalvis Cobbins and LeMaricus Davidson, both of whom also requested new trials, were denied.

Judge Kurtz ruled that he was able to sit as thirteenth juror in both Cobbins and Davidson's initial trials.

In the third case, however, the judge ruled that, "the Thomas case does involve an overriding issue, or primary issue, of credibility" because of the lack of evidence against him, including DNA evidence.

The new trial was granted because in his initial trial, former judge Richard Baumgartner was under the influence of prescription pain pills and eventually pled guilty to official misconduct.

In the judge's order, he wrote that he only gave Thomas a new trial because he couldn't sit as thirteenth juror, because he couldn't see and hear the witnesses who linked Thomas to the murders in the initial trial.

With the judge's ruling for a new trial for George Thomas, this will mark the seventh year and more than 300 times the victims' families have been in the courtroom.

...more at link
http://www.wate.com/story/20592621/geor ... on-cobbins

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:29 am 
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So Thomas is the ONLY trial still pending.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:34 pm 
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How awful for the family having to go through yet another trial.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:37 pm 
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At least it is only one more... things look a lot tidier now,,, after the doper judge and the crazy guy judge.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:40 pm 
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True, it's much better than three, and hopefully afterwards they can try to move forward the best they can.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:39 pm 
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I agree one is better than all three. What a shame that it has to happen at all but it is what it is.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:32 am 
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Retrial for murder defendant George Thomas could begin in May
Posted: Feb 12, 2013 1:02 PM

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The retrial for Christian-Newsom murder defendant George Thomas could begin in mid-May.

Attorneys for both sides indicated to Judge Walter Kurtz that May 13 might be a possible trial date, with jury selection on May 9 and May 10.

The date would be finalized at a pre-trial hearing later this month.

Kurtz recently granted Thomas a retrial, saying he couldn't see and hear the witness testimony, which linked Thomas to the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.

The judge denied retrials for defendants Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins.
Vanessa Coleman was convicted of facilitating Christian's murder.

...more at link
http://www.wate.com/story/21129406/retr ... gin-in-may

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:17 am 
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Thomas' attorney files motions ahead of retrial
Posted: Mar 13, 2013 11:54 AM

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The defense filed several motions Monday ahead of the next Christian-Newsom retrial.

George Thomas' attorneys want to prevent pictures of the victims from being seen by the jury, saying the pictures would be unfairly prejudicial.

Attorneys for George Thomas, convicted once in the case, are asking for special jury instructions covering Tennessee's criminal responsibility law.

Another motion from the defense team seeks to suppress a statement given by Thomas after he was arrested in Kentucky. They claim he was improperly arrested without a warrant, making any statements he gave to police inadmissible.

Also, Thomas' attorneys want what's called a Bill of Particulars, laying out details of the prosecution's case against Thomas.

They also want to limit or exclude testimony from medical examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, saying her testimony went beyond her expertise.

Other requests included prohibiting the wearing of buttons or t-shirts in support of the victims, which the defense says would risk biasing the jury, and a request to stop what the defense characterized as improper arguments from the prosecution. The defense says they overstepped permissible boundaries during Thomas' first trial.

Thomas was granted a retrial in the wake of ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner's prescription painkiller addiction.

The start date for his retrial was set for May 13 in District 1 court. Pretrial motions will take place on March 25.

...more at link
http://www.wate.com/story/21599235/thom ... of-retrial

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:20 am 
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George Thomas' defenders want to keep medical examiner off witness stand
By Jamie Satterfield
Posted March 15, 2013 at 4 a.m.

The defenders for a torture-slaying suspect facing a second trial on the same set of facts are looking to hindsight to give them a crystal clear vision for what should be kept out this go-round.

Defense attorneys Tom Dillard and Stephen Ross Johnson have filed motions in Knox County Criminal Court seeking to bar Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan from testifying and to prohibit prosecutors Leland Price and TaKisha Fitzgerald from making the same arguments used in the first trial of slaying suspect George Thomas.

...more at link
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/mar/1 ... dical-off/

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:35 pm 
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Christian, Newsom families can wear buttons but not near jury
12:17 PM, Mar 25, 2013

Family members of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom who choose to wear buttons with their pictures during the retrial of George Thomas must sit farther from the jury box and on the side of the courtroom behind the defendant.

That's was the ruling Monday of Judge Walter Krutz, who ruled on close to half a dozen pretrial motions in advance of the retrial of George Thomas.

...more at link
http://www.wbir.com/news/article/261605 ... -near-jury

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:37 pm 
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Jailhouse phone calls could come into play in Thomas retrial
Posted: Mar 28, 2013 11:51 AM

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Phone calls recorded at a Kentucky jail could play a role in the upcoming retrial of George Thomas.

Thomas has already been convicted in the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

But he was granted a new trial in the wake of judge Richard Baumgartner's painkiller addiction.

On Monday, presiding Judge Walter Kurtz signed off on an order adding James Stanton as a witness for the state.

Stanton told 6 News Wednesday that he works as a senior network advisor at the Grayson County, Kentucky detention center, where he records phone calls.

Thomas was arrested in Kentucky after police found movies he had rented at the Chipman Street house where Christian's body was found.

The retrial is set for May 13.

...more at link
http://www.wate.com/story/21811864/jail ... as-retrial

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 2:15 am 
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Jury selection for Thomas retrial set for Thursday in Nashville
5:29 PM, May 8, 2013

Jury selection for the retrial of one of the suspects previously convicted in the brutal murders of a Knox County couple will begin Friday morning in Nashville.

George Thomas was found guilty of first degree murder in the 2007 deaths of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole. But earlier this year, he was granted a new trial, after the previous judge admitted to a prescription drug addiction during the trial.

Judge Walter Kurtz was appointed to oversee Thomas' retrial. He moved the jury selection to Davidson County. The selected jurors will be brought to Knox County for the trial next week, where they will be sequestered.

Jury selection is expected to take two days.

The Thomas trial is set to begin on Monday.

Two other men convicted in the case, Letalvis Cobbins and Lemaricus Davidson, were not granted retrials. Cobbins is serving a life sentence. Davidson is on death row.

The only woman charged in the case, Vanessa Coleman, was found guilty of a few lesser charges in her retrial.

....more at link
http://www.wbir.com/news/article/273475 ... -Nashville

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