Posted on April 16, 2008

Judge Says Lesser Standard Applies As Jury Mulls Boyd’s Fate

Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel, April 16, 2008


Late Monday afternoon and early Tuesday morning, jurors heard graphic testimony from Knox County Acting Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan about the deaths of Newsom and Christian.

She told jurors that Newsom was repeatedly raped and then blindfolded, gagged, arms and feet bound and his head covered. Barefoot, he was either led or dragged outside the house to a set of nearby railroad tracks, where a gun was placed to the back of his head and fired. He was shot twice more, once in the neck and once in the back. His body was then set afire, she said.

Christian’s death would come only after hours of sexual torture, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.


Christian suffered horrific injuries to her vagina, anus and mouth. She was not only raped but savaged with “an object,” the doctor testified. She was beaten in the head. Some type of chemical was poured down her throat, and her body, including her bleeding and battered genital area, likely scrubbed with the same solution—all while Christian was alive, the forensic expert said.

She was then “hog-tied,” with curtains and strips of bedding, her face covered tightly with a small white trash bag and her body stashed inside five large trash bags before being placed inside a large trash can and covered with sheets, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.

Christian died slowly, suffocating, the medical examiner said.

“My conclusion was she actually died in the trash can,” Mileusnic-Polchan testified.


[Editor’s Note: More graphic details from the coroner’s testimony and more evidence linking Eric Boyd to the murders can be read here. The grand jury’s presentment can be downloaded or read on-line as a PDF file read here. Other documents pertaining to this case—including the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s response to a motion accusing federal prosecutors of racial bias in the Boyd case—are available at the “Original article” link below.]