Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knoxville Horror Update: New Developments Regarding Vanessa Coleman, George Thomas, and Letalvis Cobbins

(My tireless and invaluable reader-researcher, David in Tennessee just wrote, detailing the following developments in the Knoxville Horror case. See also here, here, here and here for background. Many thanks, David!)

On Friday, January 29, the latest hearing in the Christian-Newsom torture murder case took place. It concerned the May trial of Vanessa Coleman, the fourth suspect charged. The state wants to test two cloth strips.

Before that, George Thomas, who was convicted in December and sentenced to life without parole, was sent to a maximum security prison after protest over his being first sent to a medium security prison. The same thing happened regarding Letalavis Cobbins, who was sentenced to life without parole in August. Cobbins was sent to maximum security only after protests.

We are always hearing that the death penalty should be abolished because murderers will get "life without parole." When Catherine Crier had her Court TV show, she would editorialize against the death penalty by saying she would "prefer to be executed rather than spend the rest of my life in a box." Well, in medium security Cobbins and Thomas would have spent a good part of the day walking around on the prison grounds and socializing, not locked in their cell for 23 hours a day as Crier would have us believe.

Judge Baumgartner also ruled that evidence of Coleman hiding a gun belonging to Cobbins can be used by the state. The state can use a letter Coleman wrote to her parents, as well.

Letalvis Cobbins will appear before Judge Baumgartner on February 4 to be sentenced on the lesser charges. George Thomas will be back in court for sentencing on the lesser charges on February 26.

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