Boyd’s Video Statement to KPD Will Be Key

Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel, April 10, 2008

Eric Dewayne “E” Boyd’s own words will either set him free or send him to prison, jurors seated to decide the fate of this alleged accessory to a fatal carjacking were told Wednesday.

Boyd is charged with helping hide out Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson, the alleged ringleader in the torture slaying of 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom in January 2007, and failing to report what he knew about those slayings to police.

He gave a videotaped statement to Knoxville Police Department Investigators Patty Tipton and Greg McKnight soon after his arrest. That videotape will be a key bit of evidence for both sides, if opening statements in the U.S. District Court trial are any indication.

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Christian and Newsom were out on a date on Jan. 6, 2007, when they were confronted at gunpoint, Christian’s Toyota 4-Runner commandeered and the couple taken to a house on Chipman Street leased by Davidson.

Both would wind up dead, and Davidson and three others, including his brother, would be charged in Knox County Criminal Court with a slew of crimes including first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape. All four face the death penalty.

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However, Jennings and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Stone still must link Davidson to both the carjacking and the slayings in order to prove Boyd is guilty of being an accessory to a fatal carjacking.

Because of that, Jennings on Wednesday had to unveil details of the slayings that authorities so far have kept under wraps. The courtroom was packed with friends and family of Christian and Newsom as Jennings detailed the horrors the young couple endured.

Newsom was slain first but not before he was repeatedly raped.

“These people . . .  tie him up, gag him, wrap him in cloth material … shot him in the back, shot him in the neck, one of those shots which would have left him paralyzed, and then shot a killshot to his head,” Jennings said. “Then, his body was doused with gasoline and set afire.”

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“What was happening to Channon Christian?” Jennings asked. “She was being gang-raped. You will hear how brutally and savagely she was treated. How long could this have gone on? For hours.”

At some point, Christian’s attackers bound her and stashed her inside a trash can, he said.

“The evidence will be when Channon Christian went into that trash can, bound, for hours . . . she was alive,” Jennings said.

Christian would remain alive until sometime in the evening of Jan. 7, a Sunday, Jennings said.

“Mercifully, Channon Christian died Sunday evening,” he said.

Her body would not be discovered until Jan. 9.

Boyd is accused of helping Davidson hide out from Jan. 10 until Jan. 11, providing him food and a cell phone, staying with him inside a vacant house the pair broke into and begging people for cash and a car so both he and Davidson could flee.

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[Editor’s Note: A list of stories on AR News concerning the Christian-Newsom murders is posted here.]


Xavier Jenkins is “100-percent sure” he saw Nicole Mathis’ white Sunbird parked behind Channon Christian’s sport-utility vehicle outside a house on Chipman Street on the night of Christian’s kidnapping.

Mathis testified today that her cousin, Eric Dewayne “E” Boyd, had borrowed her car a day or two before and still had possession of it on that January 2007 weekend, when Jenkins says he saw it.

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Boyd is charged with being an accessory to the carjacking by helping hide out Lamaricus “Slim” Davidson, the alleged ringleader in the killings that occurred at the home he rented on Chipman Street. Boyd also is accused of failing to report what he knew about those slayings to police.

Jenkins worked at a business next door to the Chipman Street house and has no ties to anyone involved in the case.

Testimony from Mathis came after she said she spent months lying to authorities because of pressure from her family.

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On the witness stand today, Mathis denied ever going to the Chipman Street house or knowing Davidson.

If jurors believe Mathis, it puts a major hole in Lomonaco’s defense and today’s testimony raises the specter that Boyd was at the house while Christian and Newsom were being victimized.

Among other testimony today, Christian’s best friend, Kara Sowards, described the night her friend went missing.

Sowards told jurors that Christian and Newsom were supposed to join her and a group of their closest friends at a house in Halls to celebrate Jamie Hampton’s birthday, but that the couple never showed.

{snip}

Both would wind up dead, and Davidson and three others, including his brother, were charged in Knox County Criminal Court with a slew of crimes including first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape. All four face the death penalty.

Boyd gave a videotaped statement to Knoxville Police Department Investigators Patty Tipton and Greg McKnight soon after his arrest. That videotape will be a key bit of evidence for both sides, if Wednesday’s opening statements in the U.S. District Court trial are any indication.

“You will realize once you hear that statement that he’s confessed to the two charges in this indictment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings told jurors Wednesday afternoon.

“Mr. Boyd made a statement and you need to listen to that statement,” defense attorney Phil Lomonaco countered. “He said, ‘I told (Davidson) to turn himself in. . . . When he told me what happened, I didn’t want anything to do with him. That’s when I left.’ ”

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The [jury] panel includes four men and 12 women. One woman is black. The remaining 15 people are white.

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Boyd is accused of helping Davidson hide out from Jan. 10 until Jan. 11, providing him food and a cell phone, staying with him inside a vacant house the pair broke into and begging people for cash and a car so both he and Davidson could flee.

Lomonaco told jurors that Boyd had no idea when he was aiding Davidson that his pot-smoking friend was involved in a fatal carjacking. Once Davidson confessed his alleged crimes, Lomonaco said Boyd left Davidson behind in the vacant house on Reynolds Street under the guise of getting him food.

Boyd did not alert police, Lomonaco conceded, but was stopped by police a short time later anyway. He immediately told them where to find Davidson, the attorney said.

“The police, after they let (Boyd) go, thanked him,” Lomonaco said.

More details as they devleop online and in Friday’s News Sentinel.

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