State argues Eric Boyd participated in Christian-Newsom murders

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Opening statements and testimony began Tuesday in the trial of Eric DeWayne Boyd, accused in the 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.

On Monday, a jury of seven women and five men were picked to hear the case in Knox County Criminal Court. Four alternates, three men and a woman, were also selected.

The trial before Judge Bob R. McGhee is for a fifth suspect in the rapes and murders of Christian, who was 21, and Newsom, who was 23, It is only the second before a Knox County jury.

Channon Christian,21, and Chris Newsom, 23 were murdered in January 2007.

Lemaricus Davidson, the alleged ringleader of the carjacking, kidnapping, rapes and murders, is the only other suspect in the slayings tried by a Knox County jury. He was sentenced to death.

His brother, Letalvis Cobbinsis, is serving life without parole. Cobbins’ friend, George Thomas, is serving two consecutive life terms. Cobbins girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, deemed a facilitator, is serving 35 years.

Boyd is already in federal prison, serving an 18-year sentence for helping suspects in the case evade arrest. Both Thomas and Cobbins, however, have accused Boyd of the murder and rape of Newsom.

After a dozen years, state prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty for Boyd and will try to convince the jury beginning Tuesday he helped kidnap, rape and kill Newsom. Thomas is expected to testify.

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