published Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Torture slaying defendant sentenced to 2 life terms

KNOXVILLE — A Lebanon, Ky., man convicted in the torture slaying of a young couple likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Senior Judge Walter Kurtz on Tuesday sentenced 30-year-old George Thomas to consecutive life terms — one for the death of Channon Christian and one for the death of Chris Newsom.

The hearing was to determine if Thomas should serve consecutive or concurrent life terms and how much time he should serve for additional crimes committed during the kidnapping of the couple in 2007.

Kurtz added an extra 25 years for the rapes of both victims.

“It’s hard to imagine the suffering of these victims as they lived through the final hours of their lives,” the judge said.

Thomas was originally convicted in December 2009 and sentenced to life without parole.

New trials for Thomas and co-defendant Vanessa Coleman were required when trial judge Richard Baumgartner was found to be abusing pain pills and removed from the bench.

Coleman was reconvicted in November and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Two others were not retried. Lemaricus Davidson faces the death penalty, and Letalvis Cobbins was given life without parole.

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