KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The first trial ends with the first guilty verdict in connection with the deaths of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.
The only one of the five suspects not charged with murder, Eric DeWayne Boyd is guilty of being an accessory, according to the jury.
The jury has spoken, convicting Eric Boyd of two counts.
After five hours of deliberation, they found Boyd guilty of being an accessory after the fact, and concealing a felon, agreeing with the prosecution that he helped hide murder suspect Lemaricus Davidson from police, while failing to report his crimes.
This battle is over, but the victim’s families know the war will be long.
The victims’ families celebrate the word they’ve been waiting to hear for more than a year: Guilty.
Eric Boyd’s conviction today is the first, but family members pray it won’t be the last.
Channon Christian’s father Gary Christian says, “One down, four to go, baby. We got more to go on this one too. Eric boyd’s gonna hear from us.”
What Eric Boyd heard from the jury today will likely mean 15 years in federal prison, after sentencing August 12th.
Next year may bring four more trials, death penalty cases against the four accused murderers.
Even on this day, Chris Newsom’s mother is thinking about that.
Mary Newsom says, “They really, really tortured them beyond a normal killing, so whatever the others get, that’s what they deserve.”
Knoxville Police Sgt. Tim Snodderly says, “This is just a small part of what we’ve got going on. This is just a first step, and we’re extremely happy with the verdict we got today. We’ve got a long way to go but this is a little bit of justice for the family.”
These families say they heard Eric Boyd’s brother on television last night, saying he feels their pain. But the words mean nothing to those who lost loved ones.
Dina Christian, Channon’s mother says, “Let them lose one of theirs, and then go through the hell we went through, and then maybe they can say something.”
Gary Christian says, “Channon’s sitting on our shoulders.”