New trial for 1 in killing of Knoxville couple

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Associated Press

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 12:01 AM

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.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com

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