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Online petition seeks to deny parole for woman convicted in Christian-Newsom case

Vanessa Coleman is up for parole in December.

An online petition is calling for the denial of parole for Vanessa Coleman, one of five people convicted in the torture-slayings of a young Knox County couple in January 2007.

Coleman, 32, now being held at a Nashville prison, is up for parole in December. A specific date hasn't yet been picked and probably won't be picked until November, according to a Board of Parole spokesman.

The change.org petition had more than 1,000 signers by 6 p.m. Friday.

Coleman was part of a trio that traveled from Kentucky and was staying in a house on Chipman Street in Knoxville rented by LeMaricus Davidson in January 2007.

Davidson, his brother Letalvis Cobbins, and Eric Boyd carjacked Channon Christian, 21, and Chris Newsom, 23, the night of Jan. 6, 2007, and forced them to go to the Chipman Street home.

That night, Newsom was raped and murdered and his body set on fire by railroad tracks. Christian endured torture and rape from Davidson and Cobbins in the tiny house.

They poured bleach down her throat. Her body was stuffed into a trash can in the kitchen and she was left to suffocate to death. Knoxville police found her body later, after the suspects had fled the house.

While there's been no evidence Coleman took part in the killings, she was present and aided and abetted, prosecutors say.

Davidson, Cobbins, Boyd and Coleman's friend George Thomas were convicted in the murders. Davidson was the ringleader and faces execution some day. Cobbins got a sentence of life without parole, and Boyd is serving two consecutive life sentences. Thomas, 37, has a chance at freedom when he reaches his mid to late 60s.

Coleman was convicted of facilitation of first-degree murder. She's serving a 35-year sentence that officially ends in 2036, according to state records.

The Board of Parole previously has denied parole for Coleman.