The first round of justice in the Channon Christian-Chris Newsom case was served up in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 15th, 2008 when a judge sentenced Eric Boyd to the maximum permissible sentence of 18 years in prison for being an accessory to the murder of Christian and Newsom after the fact, and for misprision of a felony (failing to report the location of a wanted criminal to police). Full stories from the Knoxville News-Sentinel, WVLT Channel 8, WATE Channel 6, and WBIR Channel 10, all in Knoxville.
Boyd helped Lemaricus Davidson, one of four defendants charged with killing Channon Christian and Chris Newsom in January 2007, escape and evade the law. Christian, 21, and Newsom, 23, were carjacked from the Washington Ridge Apartments in northwest Knoxville in January 2007, held hostage inside a house on Chipman Street and then raped, beaten and tortured. Newsom was bound and shot execution style before his body was set afire. Christian was hog-tied and stuffed alive inside a trash can, where she slowly suffocated over a two-day period.
The first video is from coverage by WATE Channel 6 in Knoxville, uploaded to Podblanc. Podblanc was created as a safe host for non-pornographic videos considered too politically correct by YouTube, which frequently pulls politically incorrect videos after special interest groups complain.
And this second Podblanc video shows Gary Christian's reaction after the verdict:
The case sparked national outrage when the national media ignored it. Many people grew to believe it was ignored because it was black-on-white crime; if it had been reversed, the national media would have been all over it. As a result, two rallies against the underreporting of black-on-white crime and demanding justice for Channon Christian and Chris Newsom were held in Knoxville in 2007; the first on May 26th (YouTube video HERE), and the second on June 16th (one of several YouTube videos HERE). Even popular country star Charlie Daniels criticized the lack of national media interest, although his schedule precluded his personal appearance at either rally.
The trials for the other four defendants, each one to be tried individually, are expected to begin in early 2009. Here's the rest of the rogue's gallery:
- Lemaricus Davidson faces 46 counts including felony murder, premeditated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape and theft.
- Letalvis Cobbins faces 46 counts including 16 counts of felony murder, two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape and two counts of theft.
- George Thomas faces 46 counts including 16 counts of felony murder, two counts of premeditated murder, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape and two counts of theft.
- Vanessa Lynn Coleman, 18, faces 40 counts including 12 counts of felony murder, one count of premeditated murder, one count of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape and two counts of theft.
More extensive background information can be found in this index of WVLT Channel 8 stories and the Christian-Newsom subforum of the Vanguard News Network Forum.