KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge in Knoxville has ordered a new trial in the slaying of a young Knoxville couple, but not for the convict who faces the death penalty in the case.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/VIj310 ) reported Senior Judge Walter Kurtz ruled Tuesday, ordering a retrial of George Thomas in the 2007 kidnapping and torture killing of 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom.
However, Kurtz denied new trials for Lemaricus Davidson and his brother, Letalvis Cobbins. Davidson is on death row and Cobbins is serving a life prison term with no parole allowed. Kurtz noted DNA evidence linked both to the crime.
Kurtz said Thomas deserved a new trial because the trial judge had not ruled on whether he could serve as a "13th juror," as statute requires.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com