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Man convicted in Christian-Newsom killings loses appeals bid

A Knox County jury heard Eric Boyd's case in 2019. He helped in the carjackings and killings of a couple in 2007.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee appeals court this week turned down a convicted killer's claims he didn't get a fair 2019 trial in the torture-slayings of a young Knox County couple.

Eric D. Boyd, 49, argued a jury from outside the county should have heard his case at trial in August 2019. He also argued prosecutors improperly were allowed to introduce transcripts of a witness's testimony from his federal trial.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Criminal Appeals this week said they didn't agree.

Boyd is serving consecutive life terms in prison along with other time for his role in the January 2007 slayings of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian. The young couple was out on a date when Boyd and two others carjacked them at a Washington Pike apartment complex, forced them to go to a tiny house on Chipman Street and then murdered them.

Credit: Submitted
Channon Christian and Chris Newsom

Newsom's partly burned body was found near railroad tracks. Christian's body was found a couple days later stuffed in a trash can in the Chipman Street house after the killers fled.

Boyd was the last of five defendants to stand trial in the gruesome attacks. He was a friend of ringleader Lemaricus Davidson.

Boyd argued on appeal that the case has gotten so much publicity through the years that a jury from outside of Knox County should have been brought in for his trial.

He also said a transcript of a cousin's testimony from his 2008 federal trial shouldn't have been allowed.

At Boyd's 2019 state trial the cousin said she couldn't remember loaning him her car around the time of the killings. She testified in person during the 2008 federal trial, and Knox County prosecutors introduced a transcript from the federal trial when she suddenly claimed memory problems.

Previously convicted in the case are Davidson, who is on death row, his brother Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas, who testified against Boyd in 2019, and Vanessa Coleman. All are in prison.