KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Jurors delivered a guilty verdict on 13 of 17 counts Tuesday in the retrial against defendant Vanessa Coleman.
Jurors were tasked with deciding her guilt on 17 charges that she facilitated and participated in the torture, rape and murder of 21-year-old Channon Christian.
They found Coleman guilty on 13 charges and not guilty on 4 charges.
She was found guilty on charges of facilitating first-degree murder, second-degree murder, theft, rape, kidnapping, and theft.
Coleman was not found guilty on Count 7, a charge of facilitating first-degree murder, and Counts 42, 43, and 44, three charges of facilitating aggravated rape.
Christian’s parents, Gary and Deena, said after the rulings that they were satisfied with the results.
“We got some justice today,” said Deena Christian. “She deserves to spend the rest of her life in jail.”
“When they came down with the first not-guilty verdict, I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” said Gary Christian. “When you’re that guilty, you can’t hide it.”
The parents of Christian’s boyfriend Chris Newsom, Mary and Hugh Newsom, were also happy with the verdicts.
“This was more about Channon. Channon got the justice she deserved. I feel fine with it,” said Mary Newsom. “We’re happy she was charged with what she was charged with.”
“I think the community is ready for this to be over and we’re definitely ready for this to be over,” she continued. “We’re ready to get our lives back.”
Defense attorney Theodore Lavit said Vanessa Coleman and the defense team was also pleased.
“Vanessa feels very good. I think she’s relieved and she can see the future as a young lady,” Lavit told 6 News.
He also said that he believed the verdict was a compromised verdict, but would not go into details.
Coleman’s defense team said they were pleased because they expect her sentence to be shorter than the sentence she received in her first trial.
They also said they plan to argue for even less jail time during the sentencing.
Coleman received 53 years of jail time in her original trial.
6 News Legal Analyst Greg Isaacs said after the verdicts were read that he believes Coleman will receive a sentence of between 25 and 50 years.
On Tuesday afternoon, the jury returned to the courtroom briefly to ask Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood about the rape charges against Coleman.
They asked the judge if each count pertained to a different individual.
The judge told them that the different charges were for the different methods in which Channon Christian was raped – anally, orally and sexually.
The jury said that Judge Blackwood had answered their question and continued deliberations.
Coleman was initially charged for her role in the crimes against Christian’s boyfriend Chris Newsom, but was acquitted during her original trial.
Because of double jeopardy laws, she was not tried again for any crimes against Newsom in the latest trial.
On Monday, attorneys wrapped up five days of testimony in the case. Jurors heard from friends and family of Coleman, as well as an extensive list of law enforcement officials and experts that played a role in the investigation.
6 News Anchor Gene Patterson and 6 News Reporters Stephanie Beecken and Alexis Zotos contributed to this report.