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Trial date set for one of suspects in 2007 Christian/Newsom Torture Murders

Trial date set for one of suspects in 2007 Christian/Newsom Torture Murders

Eric Boyd is currently serving a federal sentence for harboring ringleader Lemaricus Davidson

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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Just curious…

How many of these suspects would be subject to the T-rumpian jail-break prison reforms…???

    Sanddog in reply to Ragspierre. | December 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Since they’re all violent felons, probably none.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Ragspierre. | December 17, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Thought you were a lawyer?

    I’m with Rags on this one…. well not so much Rags, but am opposed to the prison reforms. Anne Coulter’s recent column persuaded me.

    Guys doing time, are there for the crimes they got caught for and a prosecutor was able to prove to a jury. We don’t need them out sooner.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Andy. | December 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Rags has no point related to this case.

        Observer in reply to healthguyfsu. | December 17, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        Yes, with the exception of Eric Boyd, who was convicted in federal court for the crime of being an accessory to a fatal carjacking and harboring Davidson (one of the other perps), all of the criminals in this case have been convicted by the state of Tennessee and are serving their sentences in TN state prisons. The First Step Act, if it gets passed into law, will only affect federal prisoners. It will have no affect on state prisoners, like these animals.

    We leave a comment quoting a greater mind:

    Andrew Branca | June 28, 2018 at 1:04 am
    Who are you, and why should I care what you think about anything?

    The prison reform bill currently under discussion is modeled on the successful one implemented in “Ragspierre’s” state, Texas. Successful, as in reducing recidivism by about 25% and crime rates by 20% over the last decade since implementation.

    While Cruz has not come out in favor of this particular bill, yet, he has been a supporter of prison reform in the past. It has worked in other republican led states.

    “Ragspierre” is disingenuous and dishonest. The answer to the question is quite simple. Zero. There is no such thing as “T-rumpian jail-break prison reforms”, only Texas inspired prison reform, and it does not apply in this case. To suggest it does is quite dishonest.

      Rags does have a point, though it’s not strictly applicable in this case unless Boyd is somehow not convicted by Tennessee in his upcoming trial.

      As you note, Cruz hasn’t signed on to the prison and sentencing reform bill, and he’s a smart guy. One concern is that a lot of horrifically violent criminals (like Boyd) who can’t be prosecuted at the state level get booted to the feds for federal crimes, in this case harboring the ringleader, but also tax evasion (Al Capone, anyone?) and other federal crimes. The unstated goal is to incarcerate violent criminals via federal law who cannot be convicted via state law. This goes on all the time; the feds have a bunch of people who are suspected serial killers, for example, holed up for kidnapping and other federal crimes. The states and locals can’t make the case, so the feds get them off the streets. I’m pretty good with that.

      BUT this bill as it was tossed around the House made it questionable whether or not the entire circumstances are considered regarding a “non-violent” federal detention (and for clarity, the proposed prison reform addresses only federal prisoners). Would someone like Boyd, not convicted by the feds on a violent offense, be released early under the new bill? My guess is no, but the lack of someone like Cruz signing on does make me wonder.

      Ultimately, I want to see the bill when it reaches the Senate floor (that’s when it will actually matter). In the meantime, prison reform and sentencing reform are clearly more complex than we are led by pols and the press to believe.

        The bill, once it is in final form will need close scrutiny. Much of the criminal justice and sentencing system needs reform. The devil is in the details. But several states such as Texas have done a good job with results applicable to the federal system.

        Scrutiny is a good thing. We have plenty of evidence of problems that should be fixed and reforms that work.

      As to Rags being disingenuous and dishonest in his comment . . . I think this assessment is accurate. If it were inaccurate it would mean that Rags doesn’t know that the proposed prison and sentencing reform bill applies only to federal cases and / or that he does know that and is trying to play on public ignorance and fear to forward his own anti-Trump agenda.

      My guess, Rags just didn’t think it through and jumped on what he thought was a chance to attack Trump and by extension all of us who support Trump. A swing and a miss.

        Ragspierre in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | December 18, 2018 at 7:37 am

        Well, as is often the case, you “think” and guess wrong.

        Once started by the central government, a careless and overtly racist move to radically “reform” our entire penal law can be expected to spread to the states.

        I’ve written in just the last couple of weeks, and often before that, that I support frequent examination of our criminal law, and thoughtful adjustment to make it both effective in protecting society and rehabilitation of offenders where possible.

        Unless this legislation is heavily modified by Cruz and Cotton, it will be dangerous to those ends.


          “How many of these suspects would be subject to the T-rumpian jail-break prison reforms…???”

          Simply dishonest.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 18, 2018 at 6:29 pm

          Yes. He is. Proven here another time when he expressly lied about his intent.

          Right, Rags, as you note, there are no “T-rumpian jail-break prison reforms” in the proposed legislation. Instead, there’s an inchoate bill wending its way through Congress as it should.

          When/If it gets to the Senate floor, I’ll take a closer look. For now, though, it’s just something to keep on our radar.

          I think what confounds me the most about your response to this story is your utter lack of empathy. Channon and Chris and the incomprehensible evil they endured matter to people. I can’t imagine seeing this story and thinking “wow, I can score some political points here.”

I live about 80 miles from where this happened.

The best thing you could do is let them all go home. Set them free in the city of knoxville. They would live about 15 minutes.
I am not ashamed to say I would provide the rope..

Due process, and, hopefully, justice for one of the more gruesome violations of human life, dignity, and rights in recent memory.

    alaskabob in reply to n.n. | December 16, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Since a life in prison can at times be less than horrific, justice will not be fully served.

    Massinsanity in reply to n.n. | December 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Recent memory? I would say in the recorded history of man. What Channon suffered is incomprehensible.

    Like Fuzzy this crime has haunted me since the day I first read of it. Reading about it again this evening brings all those feelings of horror and rage back.

Not seek the death penalty?

You have got to be freaking insane

Hang Um high

What kind of bozo world prosecutors are these?

Not one of these sub-humans has the right to continue breathing. ALL should have been put to death for their unthinkable crimes against these two innocents. There is NOTHING redeemable about any of them.

I don’t understand why no death penalties. What is the deal in Tennessee?

Obama’s children.

What animals.

DouglasJBender | December 17, 2018 at 9:11 am

In this case, an eye for an eye. Let each of them experience what they forced their victims to experience.

Not seeking the death penalty is a huge mistake.

I remember this gruesome crime and thinking at the time, “What about that couple’s ‘white privilege?'”

The coexist nitwits never consider horrors such as these gruesome murders: there is evil – viscious, unrelenting evil – in this world that couldn’t care less about ‘coexist.’

May justice be served upon these criminals.

So why were the prosecutors so eager to take the death penalty off the table?

The entire legal system in this country has become a fraud and a disaster. It’s been so bastardized by stupid laws, rules of procedure, court rulings, etc., that it’s become little more than a full-employment/welfare program for lawyers. Things that should be resolved in a few hours are allowed to drag on for years — the billable hours rack up, and if anything ever comes to a conclusion, it’s usually the wrong one.

The animals who did this should have been brought to trial no later than a month, or two after sufficient evidence was accumulated and they were indicted, and they should have been hanged within a month of conviction, unless there was something substantial enough to base an appeal on to alter the facts of what happened and who did it. It’s not likely to ever get back to the “good old days” with a trial in the morning and a hanging at noon, but what it’s become now is all procedure and no substance — the facts are pushed aside, and everyone litigates over extraneous BS for years.

Feral animals who need to be put down.

I support torture of animals like these, prior to their timely death.

Pour encourager les autres.

had my lady herself or a daughter or son been one of the victims of this crime, would have hunted down and wasted each and every one of the perps–if it meant prison for the remainder of my life or a nap on the gurney, could accept either outcome