Christian/Newsom murder house demolished

Christian/Newsom murder house demolished

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Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom
Gary Christian looks on as the house at 2316 Chipman Street is demolished. Gary Christian looks on as the house at 2316 Chipman Street is demolished.

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- On Wednesday morning, workers demolished the house where Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom were murdered in 2007.

The house stood at 2316 Chipman Street. Waste Connections Inc., which is next door to the home, purchased it in August with plans to raze it.

In January 2009, the second anniversary of the murders, the site will be turned into a memorial. The community has plans to plant a tree and set up a plaque.

The couple disappeared in January 2007 while they were on a date. Police later said they were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured and killed.

Christian's body was found in the Chipman Street house two days after Newsom's body was found along some nearby railroad tracks.

Dozens of people gathered to watch the demolition Wednesday, among them, the parents of both victims.

"That was the last place our daughter took her last breath of life so it wasn't an easy thing to do but we're glad it's down," Channon's mother, Deena, said.

"As long as it helps them get rid of an eyesore of evil, that's good," Christopher's father, Hugh, said.

As soon as the last of the house was brought down, the fathers took time to reflect while the mothers embraced each other.

"It's beyond comprehension what they done to them. It's just hard to think about it," Christopher's mother, Mary, said.

"I was just thinking about the night I was down here trying to find her. I just wish we were here a little earlier," Channon's father, Gary, said.

Family members say they're grateful to the community for all the support they've gotten in tearing the house down.

Local businessman Bob Adkins had the house demolished for free. "I got kids of my own and they are the ages of these kids and my heart just goes out to them. It's just a tragic, tragic thing."

Four suspects are charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering the couple. They are Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman. They're all facing the death penalty.

In the first murder trial, for Letalvis Cobbins, the jurors will be brought to Knox County from other counties in Tennessee to hear the case. They will be sequestered. The trial is scheduled to begin in January 2009.

It's not known yet whether the juries for the other murder trials will be from other counties.

Exactly one week before the demolition, Eric Boyd, the only suspect connected to the case who was tried in federal court, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for being an accessory to the carjacking of the couple.

The map below shows where the house stood:

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