Prosecutors announced Wednesday at the status hearing for accused murderer Eric Boyd that they are no longer seeking the death penalty and have also taken life without parole off the table.
The trial date for Boyd, who is charged in the brutal 2007 slayings of Knox County couple Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, has been set for Thursday, January 3, 2019.
Channon Christian and Chris Newsom did not show up at a friend’s party back on January 6, 2007.
The next day, a train conductor found the body of Chris Newsom near the railroad tracks and 9th Avenue in East Knoxville. The discovery of Channon Christian’s body came two days later.
At first, Boyd’s only conviction was for being an accessory to the crime.
Prosecutors only recently charged him with first-degree murder, aggravated rape and other crimes.
Mary and Hugh Newsom say they’ve gone to the same courthouse more than 350 times since the horrible murders. They both believe Boyd played a part in their son’s death.
Both families hope Boyd accumulates enough convictions that the time stacks up and he spends the rest of his life in prison regardless.
“We feel though that he was involved with the rest of them. He was one of the main players and he should have been prosecuted along with the others and received a lot bigger sentence than what he got. That’s why we want to go back and get him and get the justice that the kids deserve,” Mary Newsom said.
The Newsoms say they’re doing pretty good.
“We’re still trying ot go ahead and travel when we get a chance and enjoy life as much as we can,” Mary Newsom added.
Both of them are ready for the new year, so all five responsible for their son’s death are brought to justice.
“It’ll feel fantastic. It will finally feel like we can rest and we have justice and Chris gets what he deserves. You cannot bring the kids back, but we’ve done the best we could to get justice for them,” they said.
Channon’s father, Gary Christian, isn’t personally happy with the state’s decision, but says he supports it.
“We’re never going to get justice on this earth that’s going to satisfy us,” he said. “My biggest concern from the very beginning was putting these people where they could never be back on the street to hurt anyone ever again.”
Christian said he is staying busy, speaking to a lot of churches and trying to move on. Despite his best efforts, he expects a long road ahead. He says he’s gearing up for Lemaricus Davidson because he says he’s appealing his conviction and hearings are approaching.
Boyd will be back in court prior to the trial December