Tennessee county to hold trial in notorious 2007 murder case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee judge announced Knox County will hold the trial for a man accused of helping kidnap, torture and kill a couple in a 2007 carjacking.
Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee rejected Eric Boyd’s request on Thursday to move his Aug. 5 trial to another location, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports.
Boyd was indicted on murder charges last year after new evidence emerged allegedly linking him to the attack of 21-year-old Channon Christian and her boyfriend 23-year-old Christopher Newsom in Knoxville, Tennessee, 12 years ago. Boyd was convicted of harboring a fugitive in 2008, and is serving an 18-year sentence related to the attack. Now, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. They say he helped kidnap, rape and kill Newsom.
Boyd is the last of five suspects to face trial in the case, the paper reports. Boyd’s attorney says he’s worried about bias, as the previous trials in the case have drawn national publicity and animosity from Knox County citizens. The case became racially charged: The victims were white and the defendants were black. However, the county’s assistant district attorney argues past high-publicity cases have been tried successfully without problems in the county.
Alleged ringleader of the attack, Lemaricus Davidson, was the only other suspect tried in the slayings by a Knox County jury. He was sentenced to death. His brother, Letalvis Cobbinsis, is serving life without parole. Cobbins’ friend, George Thomas, is serving two consecutive life terms. Cobbins girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, was deemed a facilitator and is serving 35 years.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com