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Lebanon man convicted of murder in Tennessee double-homicide

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He was sentenced to life without parole

By The Staff

 

A man who was arrested on Shuck Avenue in Lebanon more than two years ago was sentenced to life without parole for first-degree murder in Knox County, Tenn.

Letalvis Cobbins, 26, of Lebanon was also convicted of first-degree facilitation to murder, aggravated rape, especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated kidnapping, and theft.

His sentence on the murder charge was handed down Aug. 26. A separate sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 20 on the other charges.

Cobbins is the first of four defendants to be tried on accusations of involvement in the deaths of Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23.

Cobbins was convicted in the Knoxville court of the murder of Newsom and facilitation to the murder and rape of Christian.

Newsom's body was found in Jan. 7, 2007, beside railroad tracks near Chipman Avenue in Knoxville. Christian's body was found two days later at 2316 Chipman Street. Her vehicle was also nearby.

Cobbins and George Thomas were arrested Jan. 11, 2007, on Shuck Avenue in Lebanon in connection with the murders. U.S. Marshals, agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and officers from the Knoxville Police and the Knox County Sheriff's Office participated in the arrests of Cobbins and Thomas.

Two more men, Lemaricus Davidson and Eric Boyd, were arrested in Knoxville that same day.

The Lebanon Police made the final arrest in this case, Vanessa Coleman of Springfield, on Jan. 24, 2007.

The Knox County (Tenn.) grand jury issued indictments Jan. 25, 2007, against Coleman, Cobbins, Davidson and Thomas.

A federal district court also issued indictments against Boyd, Cobbins, Davidson and Thomas in January of 2007.

According to WBIR, an NBC-affiliate in Knoxville, Davidson is scheduled for trial Sept. 21. However, he has requested a jury from Knox County, something that may delay the start of the trial due to the amount of pretrial publicity that has surrounded the case.

After Davidson, Thomas is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 28, and Coleman's trial, which has been postponed, has not yet been rescheduled, according to WBIR.

Editor's note: Cobbins' convictions are explained fully at WBIR's website at

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=96922&catid=2.

Also, the indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.