Knoxville Horror victims, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom
On November 20, the Knoxville News Sentinel finally reported a racist statement that Knoxville Horror (also here kidnapping-rape-murder defendant George Thomas had made on January 11, 2007, just after his interrogation in Lebanon, Kentucky by Knoxville, Tennessee PD detectives had ended.
KPD detectives had had to travel across the border (Lebanon is only about a three-and-a-half hour drive north of Knoxville) to Kentucky, in order to interrogate Thomas and his since convicted co-defendant, Letalvis Cobbins (who was sentenced to “life without parole”), because the two fugitives, knowing that police were searching for them in Knoxville, had fled across state lines to friends in Lebanon. The apprehensions of Cobbins and Thomas in Lebanon, and of the since convicted “ringleader” Lemaricus Davidson, and since convicted accessory Eric Boyd in Knoxville, respectively, followed the massive manhunt of a regional fugitive apprehension team involving up to 30 law enforcement officers from 10 different agencies.
(The leader of that fugitive apprehension unit, Deputy Chief U.S. Marshal Rich Knighten, who was able to arrest some very violent characters without a struggle, has come in for extended abuse from some journalists, who have falsely asserted that he was the source of most of the early misconceptions about the crime. The only mistake made by Marshal Knighten, was in initially claiming that Channon Christian had been raped, beaten, and tortured for up to four days. Considering that today, journalistic accounts now claim that Christian was victimized for up to 40 hours, between being kidnapped on Saturday night and slowly dying of asphyxiation sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon in the trash can into which Davidson had forced her, Marshal Knighten’s pre-autopsy estimate looks pretty good. (The authorities now believe that Christian and Newsom were kidnapped circa 10:30 p.m. Saturday, January 6, 2007, before she called her father, in contrast to the earlier estimate that they had been kidnapped shortly after midnight on Sunday.) In contrast, during the DC Sniper manhunt, Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose was a study in incompetence, likely costing lives that could have been saved, but was treated like a hero by the MSM. But Chief Moose was black, while Marshal Knighten was white, and that made all difference.
Marshal Knighten was kind enough to grant me an extended interview. Meanwhile, it was the local Knoxville media that for months falsely insinuated that Channon Christian had been dismembered by her killers (see also here.))
Thomas’ statement had not been recorded until Detective Nevil Norman noted it in a June 24, 2008 memorandum to Leland Price the Knox County deputy prosecutor on all four of the Knoxville Horror state (murder) prosecutions. Detective Nevil’s complete memorandum follows, typos and all.
On January, 11, 2007 during our interview with Latavias Cobbins at Lebanon Police Department we had just finished his statement and George Thomas entered the interview room and as they passed one another Mr. Cobbins told George Thomas to tell them the truth and not go with that other story, “I told them the truth,” Mr. Cobbins told Mr. Thomas. When the interview with George Thomas ended Mr. Thomas and I were standing in the interview room waiting on jail personnel to take custody of Mr. Thomas. I asked Mr. Thomas if he should have called someone about what was happening there on Chipman Street he then looked at me and said, “F--k 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.” Our conversation had gotten loud by then and I responded to Mr. Thomas by saying, “But it was the right thing to do.” By that point ATF agent Barney Waggoner came in the door and asked if everything was all right, I said “yes” and he motioned to Mr. Thomas to come with him and he left.
“F--k 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.” (There are no dashes in the memorandum.)
As commenter rk40977#297843 at the Knoxville News Sentinel quipped,
“No telling what he would have said had race been a factor.”
[Quoting from the article] “‘All of the defendants are black and the victims are white, but police and prosecutors have said race was not a factor in the crimes.’ ALL THE MEDIA in Knoxville and everywhere else promoted the same view. BUT if this where 4 white males and a white female doing this to a young black couple the whole world would of screamed HATE CRIME. The price of eggs got more coverage in Nashville then this terrible outrage. Political correctness 2 Knoxville 0. If the charge of a hate crime can't be used when it's obvious then it shouldn't be used against only whites. Even my friends and customers (THAT HAPPEN TO BE BLACK) say this was a hate crime. SO until George Bush gets a Nobel Peace Prize, till Barack Hussein Obama walks on water and gas is 99.9 cents a gallon I'll call this a hate crime as well.”
However, while most commenters were without sympathy for Thomas, and did not try to spin his words to mean anything but the obvious, a couple of the Devil’s disciples were busy at work.
“Even if he said ‘[F'] that white girl...Why should I get involved in something that is none of my business?’ which is suspect given that it's taken 17 months for the officer to remember it and he conveniently has no tape of it, how is that statement meaningful? It shows he doesn't give a d*** about anyone who isn't his friend/relative but that attitude is all too common among people.
Moreover, why would Officer Norman be shocked over such a statement? That statement's not too shocking. Has the officer never encountered folks that don't give a d*** about others they don't know? Just read KNS comments and you hear various versions of "F that [blank]...I don't know him/her" all day long.’”
Ripped out of context, and even out of the complete sentence, had Thomas been talking about some strange white female with whom he had never crossed paths, and who had died a terrible death long ago and far away, “fratricide08’s” statement might make sense. But as the article made clear, Thomas was talking about a girl whom he had admitted to witnessing being gang-raped, beaten to a bloody pulp, tortured and murdered. In the one-floor matchbox house at 2316 Chipman Street, he was just a few feet away from the doorless room in which such obscenities were visited upon Channon Christian.
And the second part of Thomas’ statement is a lie that is equally pathetic, childishly racist, and stupid. Since for a night and a day the girl was being continuously violated a mere few feet away from him, and Lemaricus Davidson attempted to break her neck, and then stuffed her still living body into a trash can right in front of him, of course it was his business. Thomas’ claim that it was none of his business is the expression of a rejection of a genocidal racism. His claim that the police came into his neighborhood and murdered blacks was more of the same. If the Knoxville PD hadn’t been so passive in the face of violent black felons, Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom might well still be alive. If anything, the KPD was guilty of de-policing in black Knoxville neighborhoods. According to prosecutors, Davidson, Boyd, and Cobbins had all engaged in a months-long violent crime spree, yet were left unmolested by police, until dead bodies started popping up. Besides which, Thomas didn’t even live in the neighborhood! He was just visiting from Kentucky, and had grown up in Detroit, where black cut-throats had little to fear from the police.
Although Thomas reportedly had no previous criminal record, he sure talks like a contemporary, racist black career criminal. Then again, “respectable” black folks like school teacher/race hoaxer Heather Ellis, Church deaconesses, and black murderers increasingly sound alike.
Back on November 20, when my reader/researcher David in Tennessee sent me the link to the story about Thomas’s statement, he wrote,
You have to read this (http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/nov/20/torture-slaying-hearing-reveals-alleged-racial-sta/) to believe it. In a hearing today over admissabilty of statements by Thomas, a detective tells of waiting 17 months to tell prosecutors about Thomas saying, "F*** that white girl, she don't mean nothin to me."
It bears out what you wrote about cops and prosecutors not wanting to even hear certain things. Do you think the judge will even allow it?
We both agreed that the judge would not allow it.
David followed up that same day with,
Here (http://www.wate.com/Global/story.asp?S=11546123) is more. The detective was "shocked" and didn't reveal it for 17 months. They just didn't want to know, did they?
Remember what the Knox County DAG and police chief were saying?
The prosecution now says it reveals motive. The defense acuses the state of playing the "race card."
On November 26, David wrote,
I don't think he will allow Thomas' remark to the Sherrif's detective. Nobody in the media acknowledges the obvious-the detective didn't report that Thomas said, "**** that white girl," because his boss didn't want to hear it.
I agreed, but on November 30 we both got a pleasant surprise when Judge Baumgartner allowed the statement into evidence. If Thomas should be convicted on any charges, which is far from a slam-dunk, look for his appeal attorney to cite the statement as having had an inflammatory and prejudicial effect on the jury.
That same day, Judge Baumgartner admitted into evidence part of “a 15 minute phone call Thomas made to his girlfriend, Stacey Lawson… [from jail]
In the call, Lawson asked where Christian was kept during the weekend of the murders. Thomas said she was kept in LeMaricus Davidson's room. Davidson was given the death penalty for his role in the slayings.
Lawson then asked why Thomas didn't call the police, Thomas told her, “Should have, would have, could have.”
The difference between the tenor of Thomas’ statement to white ATF agent Bernard “Barney” Waggoner and that to Stacy Lawson, is because, I believe that while Thomas would not have had inhibitions about making such a vicious statement to a white law enforcement officer, making the same statement to one’s white girlfriend is not quite the same thing.
“Stacy Lawson, left, explains to defense lawyer Scott Green how she left the house on Chipman Street for Kentucky after she said Letalvis Cobbins' half-brother, Lemaricus Davidson, threatened her with the rifle Green holds.” (Knoxville News Sentinel, August 18, 2009.)
Thomas’ trial on 38 counts, including kidnapping, rape, and capital murder, began last Tuesday. This morning, the state rested its case. As the defense is not calling any witnesses, closing arguments will be held on Monday.
Research assistance by David in Tennessee.