Thomas faces sentencing on more chargesReport: He planned to join Guard before meeting Cobbins
Fresh out of rehab, George Thomas stood poised to join the National Guard.
He never did and five years later, Thomas is serving life without parole and today facing sentencing for a slew of felonies all related to the January 2007 torture slaying of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.
An investigation of Thomas' history conducted in the run-up to today's sentencing hearing before Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner revealed Thomas' plan in 2005 to become a Guardsman.
"He said he started using Hydrocodone and Valium during his early 20s and was gradually using three or four Valiums on most days," the report of the probe stated.
After racking up convictions in Memphis for misdemeanor charges including theft and pot possession, Thomas, now 27, went into rehab. He completed one program and entered another.
"He said he left the program to join the National Guard," the report stated.
But Thomas insisted he put off boot camp to work to pay off court fines. It's not clear how he intended to pay those fines. He held a handful of jobs but none for more than a few months, the report showed.
He wound up moving to Lebanon, Ky., where he has a 3-year-old son. He met slaying co-defendant Letalvis Cobbins via a job at an Amazon warehouse. The pair would eventually join Cobbins' brother, Lemaricus Davidson, in what authorities allege were Knoxville's most horrific crimes.
Christian and Newsom were headed out on a date when they were carjacked and kidnapped at the Washington Ridge Apartments complex in North Knoxville. Authorities say they were taken to Davidson's Chipman Street house, raped and beaten. Newsom was shot and his body set on fire. Christian was stuffed inside a trash can in Davidson's house, where she suffocated.
Davidson has been sentenced to death in the case. Cobbins is serving life without parole in the murders and last week racked up another 100 years for the kidnapping, robbery and rapes leading up to the deaths. Thomas today faces sentencing on those same kidnapping, robbery and rape convictions.
His defenders, Tom Dillard and Stephen Ross Johnson, have filed a list of so-called mitigating factors they urge Baumgartner to consider when meting out Thomas' punishment.
They cite Thomas' troubled childhood as one reason for judicial mercy. Although his mother worked hard to support her family, his crack-addicted father deeply impacted Thomas, they argue.
"He was an abusive, disruptive and dominating figure," the attorneys wrote. "Mr. Thomas' father on several occasions when Mr. Thomas was a young child strapped Mr. Thomas to a pole and beat him."
Baumgartner also today will hear motions in the case of Thomas' co-defendant Vanessa Coleman, who faces a May trial.http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/mar/04/thomas-faces-sentencing-on-more-charges/