No new trial for convicted Christian/Newsom murders ringleader

7:37 PM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
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Lemaricus Davidson/file

Update 10:03 a.m.

Judge Walter C. Kurtz denied a new trial request for the convicted ringleader in the Christian/Newsom murders Thursday morning.  However, the judge could still grant retrials for the three male defendants because of the Baumgartner issue.

Lemaricus Davidson was present in the courtroom, as were the Christian and Newsom families.

Thursday's hearing concerned an evidence motion by Davidson's defense that the jury in Davidson's initial trial was "tainted."   They claimed the jurors held a prayer service during deliberations.  A person claiming to be a juror described that alleged prayer service in a blog post, but two jurors told 10News that they only held a worship service at the hotel after deliberations were over for the day.

The defense attorney, David Eldridge, admitted in court Thursday that a further investigation did show the prayer service happened during sequestration at the hotel, not deliberation.  A former juror testified to that. 

 

Eldridge still argued that religion influenced the jury's verdict, as supported by the blog written by an alleged juror.

The author of the blog is not clear.

Judge Kurtz rejected the blog as proof that religion "impeached" the verdict.

Judge Kurtz said he will have decisions on other retrial motions for Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, and George Thomas by the end of next week.

Previous story

Thursday morning, the convicted ringleader in Channon Christian and Chris Newsom murders is set to ask for a new trial.

Lemaricus Davidson's attorneys say their client deserves a new trial.

They claim the previous jury prayed and sang hymns when members were supposed to deliberate.

Davidson received a death row sentence in October 2009 -- two years after Christian and Newsom died.

This week marks the six year anniversary of those crimes.

10News Reporter Hillary Lake will be in the courtroom and will bring you a full report on Channel Ten and online at wbir.com.   She will also be live Tweeting @hillarylake.

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