Judge to rule next week on new trials in killings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A judge is considering whether to grant new trials to three men in the torture killing of a young Knoxville couple.

Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas are seeking new trials after the trial judge was found to be addicted to prescription pain pills.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that, at a hearing Thursday, Senior Judge Walter Kurtz ruled against Davidson on a narrower issue. Davidson's lawyer had argued his client's conviction and death sentence should be thrown out because jurors sang Christian songs on their downtime.

The suspects, from Lebanon, Ky., were convicted in separate trials in the 2007 kidnapping and killing of 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom.

Kurtz said he would issue a written ruling next week.

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