KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Two families reliving two brutal murders of their loved ones are preparing for one more trial beginning next week.
Eric Boyd’s trial is set to begin next week in Knox County. Monday, the Judge and counsel for the state and Boyd went over details about jury selection.
Specifically, the conversation centered around publicity and how they’d eliminate jurors they may have “developed such an opinion that they cannot be objective.”
Jury selection begins Monday
They need 16 to have a full jury. Next Monday, they’ll have about 75 candidates. The plan, at last mention, is to have them stand outside the courtroom and bring them in, one-by-one.
There is also a questionnaire to highlight any explicit conflicts with a jurors ability to serve throughout the trial.
The Judge also indicated there was a second pool of candidates set to arrive Tuesday, if counsel is unable to agree on 16.
For nearly the 400th time, the Newsom and Christian families will be in the courtroom to see a court proceeding surrounding the murders of their loved ones, Chris Newsom and Channon Christian.
Families hope for a fifth murder conviction
But hope remains: They’re hoping it’s one of the last times they’ll have to come to court and they’re hoping for a fifth murder conviction in the deaths of their son and daughter.
“I’ll be glad I don’t have to sit through another murder trial, but we’re not guaranteed anything. The way the system is, anything could happen,” said Gary Christian, the father of Channon.
In January 2007, Newsom, 23, and Christian, 21, headed to a party, but never made it. They never made it home, either.
Newsom’s body was found near railroad tracks in East Knoxville. Investigators learned he’d been raped, beaten, burned and shot.
Christian was found dead in a trash can, beaten, raped, with bleach poured down her throat. The medical examiner determined she suffocated in the trash can.
Four convicted in connection with Christian-Newsom murders
Four have already been convicted of murder. Now, prosecutors are going for five.
This morning’s hearing was the last before the trial, set to begin next Monday. Boyd, already convicted of accessory to the crime after the fact, is now facing murder, robbery, kidnapping and rape charges.
While the families say they’re pleased with the idea of a fifth conviction, another trial also means they have to hear and see the gruesome evidence yet again.
‘It hurts to see those pictures’
“We’ll go through that in order to get the guilty person,” Hugh Newsom, Chris’ father, said. “It hurts to see those pictures. We’ve seen them before. They just show the public what he did to Chris.”
While the trial may offer finality to some, Newsom isn’t convinced he won’t be back in court in the months or years ahead.
“I cannot imagine not coming up here and having another trial or another parole hearing or another post-conviction hearing. We’ve been through all of that before. I’m sure there will be some additional ones come up, we’ll just face them as they come up,” he said.
Christian called the evidence likely to be presented next week “unhuman,” saying he thinks about the pictures daily.
“Once you see them, you can’t un-see them…for me, I see them every time I shut my eyes. Sometimes I see them when my eyes are open. It’s just part of my life,” he said.
In terms of other specifics of the trial, an attorney representing the state hinted at “hearsay testimony” they planned on addressing with defense counsel.
Also, Boyd won’t be restrained during court proceedings, as waived by the court.