Judge denies Boyd's request for new trial in Christian-Newsom murders

Judge denies Boyd's request for new trial in Christian-Newsom murders

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A federal judge in Knoxville has denied the request by Eric Boyd for a new trial.

Boyd was convicted in 2008 as an accessory in the Christian-Newsom murders and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Boyd's attorney sought a new trial based on three newly released documents.

The documents were prepared by special agents following interviews of two trial witnesses for the government, Xavier Jenkins and Aminata Bangura. They include rough notes of Jenkins being interviewed.

Jenkins worked for Waste Connections which is near the home where murder victim Channon Christian's body was found. The body of her boyfriend, Chris Newsom, was found nearby.

Jenkins' testimony involved seeing Christian's Toyota 4Runner with four black men in it on the night the couple was carjacked. He also identified a white Pontiac Sunbird he said he saw parked behind the 4Runner. The Pontiac belonged to Boyd's cousin.

Boyd's attorney argued that the government withheld materials that could have been used in trial to impeach the testimony of Jenkins and Bangura.

He alleged that the government knew that Jenkins' and Bangura's pre-trial investigative statements were different from their testimony in trial.

Boyd filed the motion in April, alleging that the disclosure, almost a year after trial, of documents in the government's possession during the trial, was a violation.

His attorney argued that the documents contained credibility information that raised questions about the government's witnesses, the integrity of its case and its investigation.

Boyd's attorney also sought to question the jury about the documents and have a hearing.

The ruling by Judge Tom Varlan denying all the motions was filed Monday. He wrote that the government's handling of the case didn't deprive Boyd of a fair trial or sentencing.

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