25 August 2009

First of Christian-Newsom murderers found guilty



The first of the four accused of the torture and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom has been found guilty.--
KNOXVILLE - Jurors this morning convicted Letalvis Cobbins of first-degree murder in the torture-slaying of Knox County couple Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

The verdicts were announced before a packed crowd, including the Christian and Newsom families, in Knox County Criminal Court.

Jurors will now shift into a penalty phase before Judge Richard Baumgartner in which they will consider evidence about whether he should be executed.

Cobbins was dry-eyed looking at family as the verdicts were read to a silent courtroom. His family was weeping and was hustled out of the courtroom by security as the judge recessed for the day.

[...]

In the death-penalty phase which will not begin until Wednesday, prosecutors Takisha Fitzgerald and Leland Price will try to show his crimes are so heinous he deserves death, while defense attorneys Scott Green and Kim Parton will try to counter with mitigating facts.
There is truly no limit to the depths of the unrestrained human heart. This man, and his accomplices, are examples of that. But let us not forget, friends, that were it not for God's restraining hand upon us, we would be even worse than Cobbins. Jeremiah 17:9-- The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

We can make all kinds of excuses for this behavior. We can blame it on his childhood, or some mental shortcoming, or the fact that he never knew his father. But the truth is, there is no excuse. He was simply doing what his heart led him to do. The desire to do the things he did was already planted within him--the fact that he acted on his desires is simply a testament to the depravity of sinful man.

Those who would say that man is "basically good" are so very far from the truth. We humans have nothing inside of us that wants to do good. In fact, it is just the opposite. If left to our own desires, we would be even worse than Letalvis Cobbins. In fact, we would be even worse than Adolf Hitler. And the world will see this one day, when Christ comes to call His church up out of the earth, removes any restraint on the human heart, and allows the lot of mankind to fall into seven of the most dreadful and destructive years it will ever see.

The people of Knoxville, as well as the families left behind, demanded justice be served. Of course justice should be served, and it has been thus far. But just imagine this: suppose the judge says, "Well, Mr. Cobbins, you have had such a tough time, I'm going to let you go free because I am a loving judge, and I don't really want to punish you!" We would be outraged. And we should be. So why do so many people think that when we break God's laws, and we sin against Him, and we do things that are no less evil than what Letalvis Cobbins did, that God looks at us and says, "Well, I'm going to let you go free because I am a loving judge, and I don't really want to punish you! I love you too much to punish you! So, welcome to My kingdom!" Should God not be just as outraged and angry when we break HIS laws as we are when men break the laws of men?

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