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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Knoxville Horror Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood: I’m Still Objective; New Trial on for Vanessa Coleman in November; Then Comes George Thomas; Davidson and

Cobbins Likely, Too
By David in TN and Nicholas Stix

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has again refused to step aside from what Jamie Satterfield calls “one of Knoxville's most horrific criminal cases.”

Judge Blackwood said in a written opinion released today that he has not lost his objectivity, which had been alleged by the prosecution.

Blackwood has agreed to review his decision for new trials in the cases of Davidson and Cobbins because of the DNA evidence. He still insists on a new trial for George Thomas, who was not linked by forensics to the killings. Vanessa Coleman’s retrial is still on for November.

N.S.: With all this mischief and criminal justice affirmative action, here’s my current worst-case scenario.

Vanessa Coleman gets acquitted, based on her being a black female, and sues Knox County for millions of dollars.

George Thomas is acquitted on the major charges, and convicted of facilitation of rape and murder, gets sentenced to 20 years, and is released on parole, circa 2014.

Lemaricus Davidson gets convicted on the major charges, but is sentenced only to life until parole.

Letalvis Cobbins gets convicted of many charges, and is unofficially sentenced to the equivalent of life until parole.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The key factor in the retrials, as it was in the original trials, will be the jury pools. Blackwood has said all will have juries outside of Knox County, but has yet to announce exactly where.

Last time, Coleman had the best jury pool she could have, Davidson County (Nashville). Ironically, Coleman may be easier to convict this time since facilitation will be the only thing on the table and less evidence is required than for murder. She still has her police interrogation admitting her presence, along with the diary entry ("Ha Ha, a great time in the big TN").

If the jury is not from Nashville, Coleman has a fairly good chance of getting the same sentence the second time around. Also, the prosecution has seen what Lavitt's strategy will be.

With Thomas, it may go worse this time. It will depend on the jury pool. The last time it was from Hamilton County (Chattanooga). The black prospective jurors either didn't want to serve or were too open in their sympathy for Thomas.

Davidson will probably be convicted in the same way, but as you write, a death sentence is unlikely the second time. The odds are probably 2-1 against another death sentence.

Cobbins had the best jury (like Coleman from Nashville) of any of them. He originally had seven out of twelve black jurors, and six at the end. There is a good chance he'll receive the same sentence as last time, "life."

David In TN