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One victim or two? Judge to decide in torture/slaying retrial

Jamie Satterfield • Oct 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

KNOXVILLE — It is now up to Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to decide whether to treat victim Christopher Newsom as if he never existed in an upcoming retrial of one of four defendants in a January 2007 torture-slaying.

Defendant Vanessa Coleman contends through defense attorney Ted Lavit that because she was acquitted of charges directly related to Newsom's kidnapping, rape, torture and slaying, prosecutors should be barred from introducing any evidence related to Newsom at her Nov. 9 retrial.

"Vanessa Coleman was not found guilty of anything dealing with the male victim in this case," Lavit argued.

Assistant District Attorney General TaKisha Fitzgerald disagreed at a hearing Monday in Knox County Criminal Court.

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