George Thomas listens to a hearing in court
Channon Christian, murder victim
Mary Newsom took the stand on Wednesday afternoon to tell jurors about her son Chris.
She said he graduated from Halls High School in 2002 before he became a mechanic and carpenter.
The Halls mother said her son was known for wearing baseball caps. At least two of his hats were found at Lemaricus Davidson's Chipman Street House.
"When we laid him out, on his top of his casket we put several of his baseball caps," Mary Newsom testified.
She said the weekend her son disappeared, Deena Christian called around 5 p.m. Sunday January 7, 2007. She started calling her son's cell phone begging him to pick up and to call her back, but he never did.
Mary Newsom said later that same day, she received another phone call from KPD Sgt. Tim Snoderly. The family friend told her they found a body near some railroad tracks and he may need to collect a toothbrush or something for DNA.
Instead Snoderly, Officer Todd Childress and a chaplain came to her door. "And they all came over and said that that body they found was Chris," Mary Newsom told the court.
Deena Christian was the next state witness to take the stand. She talked about her loss. "Well, I had two wonderful children and a husband, now I have a son and a husband."
She said Channon and her older brother Chase were very close. Deena Christian also mentioned that during this second day of Thomas' trial, Chase was observing another birthday.
The West Knox County mom remembered the last day she saw her daughter alive. She sat on Channon Christian's bed and helped her pick out clothes to wear to a friend's birthday party.
Deena Christian said her daughter also planned to spend the night at Kara Sowards apartment and packed for the night.
However, at 12:33 a.m. January 7, Gary Christian took a call from his daughter to say she was going to watch a movie with Newsom and would come home instead. Her parents expected her to come home between 2 or 3 in the morning.
The worried mom said she waited up and knew something was not right. "When you're watching a movie that late at night you can sit there and fall asleep. So, I thought maybe she just fell asleep but something in the pit of my stomach told me that something was wrong."
On Wednesday morning, the state continued to call their witnesses to the stand to build their case against George Thomas, but testimony focused on more on convicted Lemaricus Davidson.
KPD Fingerprint Analyst Dan Crenshaw testified about finding Davidson's thumbprint on a bank envelope in Channon Christian's recovered SUV. That discovery led Crenshaw and officers to Davidson's home at 2316 Chipman Street.
Crenshaw also told the court he used glue and a hot plate to find Davidson's palm prints on 3 of 5 trash bags used to wrap Christian's body.
The fingerprint analyst said he and his co-worker Tim Schade found Davidson's prints on Christian's pay stub, her video rental card and a picture of the victim.
However, Crenshaw told both the prosecution and defense, they did not find Thomas' fingerprints on any of the evidence they tested.
KPD SWAT Officer Sgt. Keith DeBow also took the stand on Wednesday morning, but once again his testimony centered around Davidson.
DeBow talked about going into Davidson's house looking for him, but found Christian's dead body in a garbage can instead.
Then again, on January 11, 2007, DeBow said he was involved in a search for Davidson at another house. This time, officers found Davidson at an abandoned house at 1800 Reynolds Street.
It was not until the third witness of the day, that the jury saw any evidence linking Thomas to the crime scene, but they don't know it yet.
Joe Cox with the KPD Forensics Unit showed the jury several photographs he took at Davidson's house.
As he took them through the house with video and photos, he showed them pictures of evidence that linked the house to the murder victims.
Cox photographed a picture of Christian's IPod with the engraving on the back that read "Channon Christian We Love You Mom and Dad".
Another picture of a mostly burned driver's licence shows the identification that once belonged to Chris Newsom.
During Cox's video of the crime scene, he showed them an officer opening the lid of the trash can to show Christian's body inside.
Towards the end of Cox's testimony, he introduced evidence that was not introduced at the two previous murder trials.
Cox introduced 3 DVD's and a video game rented from Marion County Library in Lebanon, Kentucky.
"Manchurian Candidate", "40 Year Old Virgin", and "Collateral" were the movies rented by George Thomas from the library. Thomas also rented the game "Grand Theft Auto".
Investigators used the rentals to confirm Thomas' name and to track him, Letalvis Cobbins and Vanessa Coleman to Kentucky.
The evidence is also the first link that puts Thomas at the scene of the crime.
Ex-girlfriend testimony postponed
Stacey Lawson left court in tears Wednesday afternoon when she found out she would have to wait to testify on Thursday morning.
However, the prosecution played Lawson's complete phone call with Thomas while he was in the Grayson County Detention Center in Kentucky waiting to be extradited to Knoxville.
Prosecutors used the jail's supervisor Tim Brooks to introduce the phone call into evidence.
During the call Lawson asked Thomas why he didn't call for help and told him that "the girl" didn't deserve what happened to her. Thomas only replied, should've, would've, could've.
On January 11, 2007, officers went to Lawson's home in Lebanon, Kentucky and found her trying to pull out of her driveway. They blocked her in and started asking questions.
That's when Lawson told them she was going to pick up Thomas, Vanessa Coleman and Letalvis Cobbins from Natasha Hayes and take them somewhere, but she didn't know where.
Lawson led officers to Hayes' house where they took Thomas, Cobbins and Coleman into custody.
Two women who showed up to support Thomas on Tuesday were back in the courtroom for day 2 of the trial.
Thomas Dillard says the women are Thomas' mother and aunt. However, he is being very protective of their names and the defense is not allowing them to talk to the media.
Day 1 witnesses
On Tuesday, the prosecution quickly questioned 11 witnesses in their case against George Thomas, with little cross-examination from the defense.
Thomas is facing the death penalty if he is convicted for the premeditated murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.
Thomas Dillard is not denying his client was at the Chipman Street house during the crimes. Dillard says Thomas was rolling a blunt and thought the crimes against Christian and Newsom were none of his business.
So far, the state and defense have both mentioned the lack of evidence to link Thomas to the rapes and murders of the couple.
However, the prosecution used their witnesses to map out the crimes and the timeline of couples murders.
Josh Anderson, Kara Sowards and Gary Christian testified about the weekend the couple disappeared and finding Christian's SUV on Chipman Street.
Xavier Jenkins with Waste Connections said he saw 4 black men in a silver Toyota Four Runner on Chipman Street the morning of January 7, 2007. The jury asked Jenkins if there were street lights on Chipman Street and he answered that is how he saw inside the SUV with tinted windows.
Adrienne Mathis told the court she found a baggie of small bullets in her car after she loaned her car to her cousin, Eric Boyd the weekend of January 7th.
Two neighbors who live near 2316 Chipman Street also took the stand. Jerome Arnold talked about hearing 3 loud pops about 1:45 a.m. on January 7, 2007. That's when investigators believe Newsom was fatally shot.
The other neighbor, Kileen Bible testified about seeing a silver SUV across from her home on Glider Avenue.
J.D. Ford is the Norfolk Engineer who found Newsom's burned body near the railroad tracks on Sunday January 7.
Robert Watson and Laura Hodge told the court about the gasoline used to burn Newsom's body.
Once again, Russell Whitfield with the KPD Forensic Unit took the stand to tell the court about gathering evidence at the scene where Newsom's body was found by Ford. As in previous trials, Whitfield talked about finding a dog leash that was not sent to a lab to be tested.