Eric Boyd sentenced for his role in Christian-Newsom murders
Eric D. Boyd is a lifelong criminal who poses such a threat to society he should never, ever get a chance to live outside prison, Knox County prosecutors argue.
The 47-year-old Boyd, however, insists he'll fight until his convictions in the 2007 kidnappings, robberies, rapes and murders of Chris Newsom and Channon Christian are overturned.
"I regret ever knowing (convicted ringleader Lemaricus Davidson) because I never knew he could be such a savage animal," Boyd told state interviewers last month. "My sentence was not fair because there was no physical evidence to prove I committed any of the crimes I was charged with.
"...I will fight for an appeal. I know an appeal will be granted and my convictions will be overturned."
A Knox County jury last month found Boyd guilty of 20 counts in the case.
As required by state law, Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bob McGee automatically imposed two life terms on Boyd for the killings. On Wednesday, he's set to decide Boyd's punishment in the other counts.
Prosecutors are calling for consecutive terms to be applied in Boyd's case for the especially aggravated kidnappings, aggravated rapes and aggravated robberies of the victims.
Christian and Newsom were about to go on a date the night of Jan. 6, 2007, when Davidson, his brother Letalvis Cobbins and Boyd carjacked them at an apartment complex off Washington Pike.
The young couple were raped at or near Davidson's rental home on Chipman Street. The killers shot Newsom to death and burned his body along railroad tracks near the Chipman Street house.
They left Christian to slowly suffocate after binding her and stuffing her in a trash can in the kitchen of Davidson's rental home.
Evidence last month at trial showed Boyd, a prison friend of Davidson's, brought Newsom back to the house after the carjacking. Co-defendant George Thomas also testified at trial that he and Boyd forced Newsom to go with them to a remote location near the house where Boyd shot and killed Newsom and then set his body on fire.
After the killers abandoned the rental house, Boyd helped hide Davidson for several days. He then led police to Davidson hiding in an empty house on Reynolds Street.
Boyd is still serving an 18-year federal sentence for harboring Davidson. He's set to finish it in October 2022, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Davidson, Thomas, Cobbins and Cobbins' girlfriend were convicted in a series of trials for their roles in the kidnappings, robberies and killings.
Prosecutors waited until 2018 to pursue murder charges in Knox County against Boyd. Thomas had agreed secretly to testify against Boyd in exchange for a break in his own prison sentence.
The Knox County District Attorney General's Office is asking McGee to run Boyd's sentences consecutive to each other. It's a form typically referred to as "stacking."
If McGee agrees to run Boyd's terms consecutively, Boyd faces scores of additional years in prison, far more than he possibly could survive.
"The defendant is a dangerous offender who has an extensive prior criminal history, and he has devoted his life to criminal activity," the state declared in a sentencing memo filed last week.
Prosecutors conclude in the memo: "The facts of this case coupled with the defendant's extensive criminal history call for an extensive penitentiary sentence."
Like Boyd, defense attorney Clinton Frazier argues there was insufficient evidence to convict him. Thomas played a key role in securing convictions. Little physical evidence linked Boyd to any of the crimes.
Frazier, in a motion for a new trial filed last week, also argues McGee erred in letting a Knox County jury hear the case, which has been heavily covered over the last 12 years.
Read more at WBIR's website.