Appeals court upholds death sentence for Davidson in Knoxville torture slayings



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NASHVILLE, Tennessee — A state appeals court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of the ringleader in the kidnapping, rape, torture and murder of a young Knoxville couple in 2007.

Lemaricus Davidson claimed evidence obtained from his residence was the result of an illegal search. He also maintained that his rights were violated in numerous other ways, including the trial judge allowing jurors to see graphic autopsy photos of the victims and letting courtroom spectators wear buttons emblazoned with photographs of the victims.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals said there were some problems with the trial, but nothing so egregious as to overturn his convictions and his death sentence.

Davidson has been sentenced to death for his role in the murders of 21-year-old Channon Christian and her 23-year-old boyfriend, Christopher Newsom.

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