Predominantly female jury finds Vanessa Coleman not guilty of murder in Knoxville Atrocity

Here is the disappointing outcome today in the trial of Vanessa Coleman in the fourth Knoxville Atrocity trial. She was found guilty of “facilitating” murder, kidnapping, and rape, but not of the crimes themselves. The families of the victims have had to go through these repeated tortures of seeing the torturers and murderers get off, in addition to enduring what happened to their loved ones.

Below are e-mails from David B. about the Coleman trial:

David wrote (May (3):

Remember last August how angry we were when the first suspect in the Knoxville Atrocity did not get a death sentence? You wrote, “I feel terrible.”

The Knoxville ABC affiliate reveals why he got off, in an interview with a (black) woman on the jury brought from Nashville. See the video on this thread.

It was just what we thought. There were seven blacks on the original panel, six of the final 12. They never asked any questions of the witnesses, which Tennessee jurors are allowed to do and already had their minds made up. Despite what the interviewer says, she expressed no sympathy for the victims and their families.It was how bad it was for HER.

David B. continues (May 3)

I’ve just about lost the heart for writing about this series of trials. I think black jurors never really do deliberate in any sense. Even if they vote guilty, they have their minds made up beforehand. Note how she hides behind religion.

That being said, I intended to drive 250 miles to Knoxville on Wednesday and see at least one day of the Coleman trial. I have written several pieces on the case for a true crime blog. I was going to write another one about what I saw while attending in person.. After this, I’m having second thoughts.

Today, in his opening statement, Coleman’s attorney said she was being held against her will as Channon was. This is the result of severing the trials. Each suspect blames the others. Cobbins blamed Davidson. Davidson blamed Cobbins. Thomas said he saw and heard nothing. Now, Coleman was a victim herself. These thugs perpetrate the most horrific crime imaginable but say they were all afraid of each other. How did such terror-stricken people pull it off? [LA replies: I guess they were all following orders?] Despite everything, if Davidson hadn’t left his fingerprint on an envelope in Channon’s SUV, they would have gotten clean away with it.

David writes (May 4):

The prosecution had a pretty good day today. Note the first paragraph in this story. Many of these items that belonged to Channon Christian were found in Vanessa Coleman’s purse. The others were in the house Coleman had fled to.

The defense says that the ringleader “gave them to Coleman,” and she will take the stand and “explain everything.”

I have noticed that the prosecutors, and Takisha Fitzgerald especially, have performed better with each consecutive trial.

David wrote (May 11):

Here is the best account of today’s closing arguments. This time Leland Price did the closing and Takisha Fitzgeral the rebuttal. You could not ask for a better job than these two have done, especially in the last three trials.

In the rebuttal for the Thomas trial, you will remember that Price repeated Thomas’s remark, “F* that white girl!” Today he said that Coleman kicked Channon in the crotch because she was angry over her boyfriend, Cobbins, raping Channon. This is what everybody I know who has studied the case believes.

- end of initial entry -

David B. writes:

The jury had three black women and one black man (who was the foreman). The rest was six white women and two white men. None of the white jurors looked capable of standing up in a situation like this, the younger white women especially.

Based on seeing the jury in person for three days last week, I was afraid of this. I figured the not guilty voters would be stubborn and intransigent and would browbeat the guilty voters (if any), who would want to end it and go home. It did end in a compromise of sorts, but not an equal one. The foreman was a black man (I heard his voice announcing the verdicts) who looked to me to be in his early thirties with a white collar job and a hard face. Just the type to influence liberal white women.

The most abysmal result was finding Coleman not guilty of Channon Christian’s murder. She was found guilty of facilitating it. She was aquitted of everything relating to Chris Newsom. The facilitating conviction carries a sentence of 15 years and usually results in a parole after five. The other charges, if the judge stacks them, would be about 12 more years. Tennessee procedure is against stacking when the defendant doesn’t have a long record or is young, as Coleman is.

The total sentence would, at the most, be about 25 years. Remember, she has already been in jail for three years, and this counts as time served. Coleman maybe out in less than 10 years, maybe six.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 13, 2010 04:43 PM | Send

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