(WBIR) Gov. Bill Haslam signed two bills into law Tuesday afternoon that honor the legacies of a Knox County couple who were brutally murdered seven years ago.
The families of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian worked with lawmakers to create the legislation aimed at making changes to the justice system. State lawmakers passed both the Chris Newsom Act and the Channon Christian Act during the recent legislative session.
The Chris Newsom Act will do away with the state's 13th juror rule, which requires a judge to validate a jury verdict by signing a document. They hope that would cut down on re-trials, like the ones both families had to endure.
The Channon Christian Act will prevent evidence or allegations of previous behavior that could call into question the character of a victim, defendant, witness or third-party.
In 2007, Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Chris Newsom, were carjacked, tortured, raped and murdered in the home of Lemarcuis Davidson, who has since been convicted twice in the couple's slaying, in addition to Vanessa Coleman, Letalvis Cobbins, and George Thomas.