In an apparently unprecedented move in Tennessee, a judge has sentenced Lemaricus Davidson to 2 consecutive death penalties.
"Mr. Davidson in my judgment engaged in one of the most horrendous crimes that has been committed in this county," Judge Richard Baumgartner said at Lemaricus Davidson's sentencing Friday afternoon.
A Knox County jury convicted Lemaricus Davidson and sentenced him to death last October in the torture slayings of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.
Friday, Judge Richard Baumgartner sentenced Davidson on 20 lesser convictions.
Those charges include aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape of Chris Newsom, aggravated rape of Channon Christian, and theft.
The judge announced his sentence after hearing from lawyers on both sides and family members of the victims. Davidson chose not to make a statement.
"Lemaricus Davidson, you are a hateful, evil person," Chris Newsom's mother Mary Newsom said.
Family members looked Davidson in the eye as they made their victim impact statements. He remained stoic.
"You and your friends destroyed our lives," Channon Christian's mother Deena Christian said on the stand.
When it was Chris Newsom's father's turn, Hugh Newsom said, "Knowing that you were involved in this Lemaricus, it's a good thing the police got to you before I found you."
Gary Christian ended his statement glaring at Davidson. "You rot in hell," he said.
Davidson was the ringleader of a group that tortured and killed the Knox County couple in 2007.
Judge Richard Baumgartner considered his leadership in the crime, use of firearms, previous criminal history, and the exceptional cruelty to the victims in determining his sentence.
The judge ruled that Davidson is classified as a Range II defendant, putting the possible sentence range for a Class A felony at 25 to 40 years.
On those lesser charges, the judge sentenced Davidson to 40 years on the Class A felonies, 20 years on the Class B felonies, and 10 years on the Class C felony, to be served at the same time.
"There is no sentence great enough to punish you for the conduct that you've been convicted of," the judge said.
A Knox County jury convicted Davidson and sentenced him to death in October.
The judge's decision Friday means Davidson will serve one death sentence for murder, plus 40 years for lesser charges, for each victim -- ending up with 80 years and back-to-back death sentences.
"I will do everything in my power to make sure they stick that needle in your arm as soon as possible," Gary Christian said.
Christian was referring to lethal injection, the method of execution in Tennessee.
Davidson is one of 88 people on death row at a prison in Nashville.
Four other people have been convicted in connection with the 2007 crimes. Davidson is the only one of those on death row.
Vanessa Coleman, the final person convicted in the crimes, will be sentenced next month.