Trial date set for men charged in Zaevion Dobson’s shooting death


KNOXVILLE (WATE) -The two men charged in Zaevion Dobson’s shooting death were in court Friday as the judge picked their trial date. Richard Williams and Christopher Bassett are co-defendants facing charges of murder and attempted murder.

Both of the defendants’ attorneys say this is a tough case, but they must fight for the rights of their clients. At this point, the two men are co-defendants and will be tried together, but both attorneys say they have to look at the evidence and find out what is best for their client so the cases could be severed in the future.

Previous story: Knox County DA: 2 charged with murder of Zaevion Dobson

Christopher Bassett  (Knoxville Police Department)
Christopher Bassett (Knoxville Police Department)

Dobson’s mother was in court again fighting for justice for her son who was killed last year while shielding two girls from gun fire. Police said after the shooting Dobson was an innocent victim of gang violence. Zenobia Dobson says she will be here for her son every step of the way.

“I’m Zaevion’s number one fan and I’m going to support him from earth to heaven,” said Zenobia Dobson.

The judge gave Bassett and Williams a trial date of July 10. Bassett’s attorney T. Scott Jones wants Bassett to be held in Knox County. The state has concerns though.

Assistant District Attorney Philip Morton told the judge, “When Mr. Bassett has been in our jail there have been some disciplinary actions reported caused by him and the state is concerned about him remaining in our jail.”

The judge ordered Bassett to finish serving his current sentence in Middle Tennessee before coming to the Knox County jail on the murder charges.

More coverage: Zaevion Dobson

Richard Williams (Knoxville Police Department)
Richard Williams (Knoxville Police Department)

Jones also asked the judge to make sure any gun residue evidence is preserved. Jones says Bassett’s hands were swabbed on the night of Dobson’s murder and the evidence collected may help his case.

“He emphatically and without hesitation maintains his innocence in the unfortunate loss of life of Mr. Dobson,” said Jones.

Williams’ attorney Aubrey Davis says his client had no involvement in the murder of Dobson.

“We were shocked by the presentment on the first degree murder case,” said Dobson.

Dobson’s mother Zenobia says she will be in court for every step of the legal process.

Zenobia Dobson
Zenobia Dobson

“He will always be in my heart and my soul and I’m going to fight for him the best way I can, the best way I know how. Justice will be served, team Zaevion,” said Zenobia Dobson.

Prosecutors said due to ethical rules, the district attorney’s office cannot make out-of-court statements on a pending case. Bassett and Williams are scheduled to be back in court together on November 4 for a status hearing before the July trial.

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