New Trial Granted for 1 in Torture-Slaying Case

Senior Judge Walter Kurtz today denied new trials for two brothers convicted in the 2007 slayings of a Knox County couple, but granted a retrial for a third defendant, Knoxnews.com reports. Lemaricus Davidson, who is facing the death penalty, and his brother, Letalvis Cobbins, who is serving life without parole, will not get new trials because, according to Kurtz, there was DNA evidence linking them to the killings. Their friend George Thomas, however, will get a second chance because former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, who presided over the original trial, did not rule on whether he could serve as a "13th juror" in the case. The issue of new trials for several defendants arose in the wake of a pill scandal that implicated Baumgartner and raised questions about the legitimacy of verdicts handed down in his court.