The heart-wrenching, tragic final hours of Channon Christian (21) and Christopher Newsom (23) haunt me even today, almost twelve years after they endured an almost incomprehensible level of abuse, rape, and torture before finally dying at the hands of their brutal killers.

On the ten-year anniversary of their horrific ordeal, I wrote:

On January 7, 2007, the young white couple—Channon was 21, her boyfriend Chris was 23—was abducted, beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered. Chris eventually shot to death before being set on fire, and Channon left to die with a plastic bag over her head in a trash can. The perpetrators were all black.

Here are Channon and Chris:

Eric Boyd, pictured in the featured image, has been convicted of harboring the ringleader Lemaricus Davidson, also pictured above, and is currently serving his sentence for that crime.

In March of this year, the Knox County DAG “sought and secured murder and kidnapping indictments against Boyd” and was eventually granted a January 3, 2019 trial date.

Boyd has now been granted a new trial date—August 5, 2019—on 36 counts, including first degree felony murder.

WBIR reports:

The man long suspected of helping kidnap and murder a young Knoxville couple out on a date in January 2007 is getting a new trial date.

. . . . Authorities have long suspected Boyd, a friend of Davidson’s, took part in the kidnappings and killings. In March 2018, the Knox County district attorney general sought and secured murder and kidnapping indictments against Boyd.

. . . . Eric Boyd will now face trial in Knox County Criminal Court on Aug. 5, 2019, in what will likely be at least a two-week trial. He had been set for a January trial, but considering the complexity of the case and the fact that he was just indicted in March 2018, the case likely was going to be put off.

Judge Bob McGee agreed to delay the trial Wednesday and also set several check-back dates in the interim.

McGee also agreed to hold off on sending Boyd, who was present Wednesday, back to federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss. Boyd is serving a federal, 18-year sentence for harboring the ringleader in the 2007 killings, and has been shuttled back and forth several times to court while in federal custody.

According to Knox News, Boyd hadn’t been indicted on kidnapping or murder charges earlier due to a lack of a confession and/or of evidence.

Boyd was convicted in April 2008 of hiding Davidson in the days after the slaying. Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan sentenced him to the maximum 18-year prison term for harboring Davidson. State trials led to convictions in the slayings against Davidson, Cobbins, Thomas and Coleman. But Boyd remained uncharged.

. . . . A serial robber with a penchant for gun play, Boyd was quickly implicated in the entirety of the crimes committed against the couple by Cobbins, Coleman, Thomas and Davidson. But their statements could not be used against Boyd under the law without corroborating evidence.

Boyd himself recalled vivid details of the couple’s carjacking when interviewed by investigators soon after the slayings, even though he insisted he wasn’t there and instead heard an account by Davidson.

He said the couple were kissing and therefore distracted when the carjackers surrounded them. He also said the carjacking turned into a kidnapping when the carjackers were surprised by headlights as a car approached. Boyd was the only suspect to offer that kind of detail.

According to an earlier WBIR report, “Prosecutors said that they will not seek the death penalty in the case.”


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