KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The fifth person charged in connection with the 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom only received 18 years in prison, but the victims’ families aren’t giving up their fight to keep him in jail longer.
Eric Boyd was convicted in April 2008 of charges of accessory after the fact, not for the murders or rapes. He was tried in federal court, not in state court as the other four suspects had been.
“Eric Boyd has not been prosecuted fully, and until that’s done, my healing will not begin,” said Hugh Newsom, Chris’s father.Previous story: 10 years since Christian-Newsom murders in Knoxville
“I’ve said it for 10 years. I’ll say it forever. He is getting away with murder,” said Deena Christian, Channon’s mother.
Former district attorney Randy Nichols offered some insight about why there were no state charges against Boyd. He said in a multi-defendant prosecution, attorneys look for someone who will want to tell the truth about what happened in exchange for a potential lower punishment, but in this case, the crime were so heinous there was no room to lower the punishment for anyone.
“If he was involved to the extent some think, then there wouldn’t be much room to talk with him either,” said Nichols. “I always thought there had to be one other player involved and when you looked at the transportation, how do you get out to the east end and those sorts of things? It almost is impossible not for there to be another player. but obviously we were never able to get a sufficient amount of evidence to even charge him much less prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Timeline:Christian-Newsom murder trials
“Yeah, I think he was involved in it,” said Lt. Tim Snodderly. “Whether he took place in doing anything to Channon, we weren’t able to prove. But I think he was involved in the carjacking and I think he was involved in the killing of Chris.”
“I’d like to have seen him tried at the state level as well. There are many times the state will go ahead and yield to the federal government and I think that was the case here. But sure, 18 years was not enough for what happened to these two young children,” said former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison.