KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A deal to testify against Eric Boyd could mean a convicted killer won't die in prison.

George Thomas, 36, who was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, has agreed to tell jurors what he knows about Boyd's role in the 2007 killings. 

George Thomas
George Thomas, shown after being booked into Knox County custody ahead of planned testimony in Eric Boyd's Aug. 5 trial.
KCSO

In exchange for that testimony, Thomas could get a reduced sentence.

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Right now, he would be eligible for parole after serving fifty years behind bars. That would mean he could have been released in 2064 at age 81. 

Channon Christian and Chris Newsom
Channon Christian and Chris Newsom
Submitted

The deal, if approved, would reduce his sentence to a 50-year prison term to be served at 85 percent, meaning he could be released after 42 1/2 years behind bars.

Thomas has already served 12 years and would then be eligible for release in 2049, when he's in his mid-60s.

We don't know exactly how the deal for Thomas to testify came about, but we have been told that Hugh and Mary Newsom, the parents of Chris Newsom, were involved in convincing Thomas to testify against Boyd.

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Mary Newsom told 10News that she always thought that Boyd had a more direct role in her son's death.

Eric Boyd
Eric Boyd
KCSO

Boyd was convicted on federal accessory charges related to the case in 2008. He is serving an 18-year federal prison sentence and is scheduled for release in 2022.