One Knoxville Horror Perp Sentenced To Death—But The Time-Bomb Is Ticking
murder trial, only one penalty could spell justice for
the victims of Lemaricus Davidson, the man who with an
indeterminate number of accomplices carjacked,
kidnapped, gang-raped, beat, sexually tortured and
murdered Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom,
death was indeed the sentence finally meted out to
Davidson on Friday afternoon, by seven male and five
Two days earlier, the jury had
convicted Davidson on
35 out of 38 state felony charges.
The trial was a defeat for Knox County Criminal Court
Judge Richard H. Baumgartner, who had again sought to
subvert justice and save Davidson from the
as he had earlier saved Davidson`s convicted accomplice
and half-brother, Letalvis Cobbins.
In Cobbins` August trial, Judge Baumgartner had abused
the jury selection process, in order to rig the
sentencing options. Although the victims were both
white, and the assailants had committed the atrocity in
a jurisdiction that is
88 percent white and
only 8.8 percent black,
Baumgartner went to 27.5 percent black
to fetch a majority-black jury, which he bused in to
Knox County. That jury convicted Cobbins of
33 out of 38 felony
sentenced him only to “life without parole”.
In Gomer Pyle`s immortal words, “Surprise,
But in Davidson`s trial, Judge Baumgartner was
confounded by the defendant himself, who
on being tried before a
Knox County jury. (Davidson`s defense attorneys
wouldn`t say why.)Hence,
only one juror was black.
the judge had a last trick left up his sleeve.
“Knox County judicial
in the words of Knoxville News Sentinel reporter
Jamie Satterfield, when he
instructed the jury
that it is
to execute a prisoner than to keep him in jail for life.
Satterfield noted that the very study [