Is there justice after the verdict? East TN families share mix of closure and pain


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The heartbreak the Christians and the Newsoms are experiencing is sadly something other families in East Tennessee have also experienced.

A Knox County jury found Eric Boyd guilty on Tuesday afternoon in the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.

We spoke with the Pinsly family about what life after the verdict is like and if there’s ever a sense of justice.

Two years ago, 23-year old Marshal Pinsly was shot and killed in the parking lot at Walmart in Clinton. Pinsly’s killer is Robert Myers, the ex-husband of Pinsly’s wife.

“April 28th, 2017 is a day that I will never forget,” said Pamela Covey, Marshal Pinsly’s aunt.

More: Clinton Walmart shooter pleads guilty, victim’s family reacts

“His daughters will never know their father except through pictures, memories and stories,” added Covey.

Pinsly’s family decided it would be easier emotionally to not go to trial. Instead, Myers accepted a plea deal.

“It’s not nearly long enough but it’s something, 21-years is, it just doesn’t seem to be enough for taking a life,” added Covey.

She’s been watching the Eric Boyd trial all week and says it’s the lives of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom that have been running through her thoughts, “I was very emotional with the verdicts and the families statements yesterday. Especially when Mr. Newsom spoke, he said he can go to his grave now knowing that he fought the good fight for his son. I share that because I feel like we did everything humanly possible to bring that murderer to justice in our case.”

In hearing a verdict, Covey says there’s a sense of permanence and a sliver of justice.

“Yes, they’re locked away for good which is a blessing. They can never harm anyone else but it doesn’t bring our kids back. We’re still left with holes in our families that can never be filled,” added Covey.

Life after hearing guilty for all three families is not an easy one because soon they’ll be sitting in parole hearings.

“This is just one chapter. The story isn’t finished,” said Covey.

In July, Governor Lee signed the Truth In Sentencing Act. This law aims to keep violent criminals behind bars longer, by creating a minimum amount of time an inmate will have to serve.

Lawmakers say this will only apply to felony violent crimes that happen after the law is in place and will not be applied retroactively.

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