Evil Beyond Belief: The Horrendous Murders of Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom | Graphic

(Collage created by Caledonian Kitty. Picture credits: wvlt / wate / housecreep / dailymail)

This is one of the worst cases I have ever written about, I remember when I heard about the case very briefly some years ago, it bothered me then and it bothers me now. I don't think anyone could be able to forget about this case once they'd heard about it, to think that such evil exists in this world. I've said it many times on this blog at how utterly frightening it is that we just don't know who's walking among us. The fact that there are some people in this world who simply don't care about other people, who enjoy inflicting pain on others and take pleasure in torture and causing tremendous pain to innocent people. 

The case that I have been focusing on this week is a very tough one to take in and it's almost too traumatic to write about but the reality is that this horrible nightmare actually happened and two innocent young people had their lives ended in such a brutal and evil way for nothing. They deserve their story to be told and this case should never be forgotten or the treasured lives and memories of Channon and Christopher. 

I'm not going to lie, this case is utterly horrendous, I have no idea how to describe it because it's so evil that I just can't find the right words. I will be talking about some of the worst things imaginable to do with sexual assault, kidnap, torture and murder. It's very difficult and it's a case where you already feel disgusted and horrified as it is, but as it goes on, it just gets worse and worse. This case is like a neverending nightmare and it's just so hard to imagine the utter terror that this beautiful young couple felt. 

What started out as a normal Saturday which was supposed to end in Channon (21) and her boyfriend, Christopher (23), going to a friend's party, ended up being a weekend of utter hell that nobody could have foreseen or imagined. Channon and Christopher lived with their parents in Knoxville, Tennessee USA. Both were very bright, good looking, popular and very hardworking. They'd both studied at University and Christopher was a talented carpenter and quite the sportsman, he really enjoyed playing rounds of golf with his best friend Josh whenever they had any free time if Channon was busy working or having some much needed girl time with her childhood best friend, Kara. Christopher was affectionately known as 'Chris' by family and his friends but Josh always called him 'Newsom'. Channon was very independent and whilst continuing her university studies, she worked too. They'd only been seeing each other for two months but the pair were completely besotted with each other. 

(Channon & Chris. Picture credits: dailymail / wikipedia)

Chris was really over the moon with Channon and even though it had only been two months that they had been dating, they had an incredible bond. Both of them could drive and had their own vehicles but Chris always insisted on driving Channon everywhere and she didn't complain. 

They were a young couple with so much going for them and an even brighter future, the possibilities were endless and they shared the same circle of friends too. So they planned to attend a friend's party together on the evening of Saturday the 6th of January 2007. Due to Channon having to work that day, she told Chris that she would be going to Kara's to get ready after work. He said that he would take that time to catch-up with Josh and play a few rounds of golf until she was ready for him to pick her up. The pair had decided that they wouldn't go to the party straight away, they decided they'd have dinner first and hit the party later. 

Channon used to practically live at Kara's place, they'd known each other since they were 7 years old and were more like sisters. When Channon arrived there after work and set about getting ready, she and Chris kept in contact via messages and Kara was also going to the party that night. As the evening drew near, it was approaching 8pm and Chris had still not come to pick Channon up so she told Kara to just go on ahead and she'd see her at the party later on. Boys being boys, Chris got a little held up and ran home to take a shower and get changed, he then dropped his friend off at the party. Kara spotted the boys outside and called Channon to let her know that Chris was finally on his way, Channon was not impressed at having to wait so long for him. 

(Channon, Picture credit: oxygen)

The beginnings of a lovers tiff seemed to have gone out of the window because when Chris finally did arrive they were all over each other as usual. As they were both hungry (especially Channon, who had been sick recently so hadn't eaten properly in days) they headed out to the parking lot and talked about where they were going to go and what they fancied ordering. 

Being playful and affectionate as they had been throughout their new and exciting relationship, they couldn't keep their hands off of each other and couldn't resist a quick cuddle in the parking lot. Unknown to the young couple, they were being watched by a group of individuals and before they knew what was happening, the pair were being threatened and forced into Channon's SUV at gunpoint. They were being carjacked. This gang of hoodlums were in the car and held the pair hostage whilst driving toward the ringleader's rented home that he shared with his on-off girlfriend. 

Lemaricus Devall Davidson was no stranger to trouble and carjacking, he'd only recently been on the wrong side of the law due to his petty crimes and was out on parole over a recent carjacking case, he clearly didn't waste any time trying to do it again. The cast of characters he had with him were also a sight to behold. All of them were unemployed with no car or proper phone, they just lived off petty crime. Lemaricus was reportedly a drug dealer and had recently had a violent altercation with his girlfriend who moved out of the rented house. He was alone so his pals came down from Kentucky to hang out with him for a while (Letalvis Darnell Cobbins who was also his brother, Letalvis's girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, George Geovanni Thomas and Eric Dewayne Boyd) as well as putting together a plan to do another carjacking. 

The gang claimed that they were just looking for anyone with a car and it wasn't anything racially motivated. Some people believe that anyone could have fallen victim to the gang, others believe it was a race-hate crime. Eric had already borrowed a car from his cousin Adrienne so they were cruising around in that particular vehicle until they selected their suitable carjacking victim(s). 

Once they got Channon and Chris to Lemaricus's place, it just continued to get worse. It was soon clear that this was more than just a carjacking, they could've taken the car in the parking lot, drove off and that would have been it but they had other sick plans in mind. Channon and Chris were tied up, beaten, robbed and raped. They wanted to get rid of Chris first so they stripped him of his possessions and clothes and subjected him to an ordeal where he was sodomized by Lemaricus, firstly by an object and then anally raped by Lemaricus. More beatings followed as his hands were tied behind his back, he was barefoot with his legs tied together. His socks were stuffed into his mouth and he had a bandana covering his eyes. Despite the brutal rape, beatings and being restricted by the ties, they forced Chris to his feet and dragged him out to the car where they drove near to some rail tracks where he was forced to walk barefoot in the mud to his death. Once at the rail tracks they shot Chris, once in the shoulder and once in the back. He survived these initial shots but the third and final shot was to the head and it killed him instantly which may come as some sort of relief because the monsters decided to cover Chris in a duvet and set it on fire, leaving him to burn, It was evil, for no reason. 

The murderers headed back to the car and back to the house where Vanessa Coleman had been holding Channon hostage whilst her boyfriend and their accomplices were out killing an innocent young man. You'd have thought that knowing how Chris was brutally raped and beaten, that it would have been enough to have sickened and scared the hell out of her that she would be moved to untie Channon and get the both of them the hell out of there and straight to a police station but no. She enjoyed having the power of being in charge of Channon whilst the others were away. 

(2316 Chipman Street. Picture credit: housecreep)

When Lemaricus and his evil helpers returned they wasted no time in subjecting Channon to a living nightmare. She had been hog tied, beaten and repeatedly raped over and over again. Completely horrifying how they tied her up leaving her intimate areas exposed and both Lemaricus and Letalvis raped her. When the autopsies were conducted later, semen, cuts, tears and bruises had been found in Channon's vagina, anus and her mouth/throat. The semen belonged to Lemaricus and Letalvis, traces of them were found on her skin too. Channon's ordeal went on for hours and hours until they decided that they'd had their fun and wanted to kill her. First, they thought they would try and get rid of any DNA evidence by forcefully scrubbing her body red raw and then pouring bleach down her throat as well as on her intimate areas. You cannot imagine the sheer pain and suffering that must have caused, it's a horrendous thing that I hope none of us ever have the experience of feeling and to think of Channon having to go through that is just so horrible. 

They then put Channon into 5 trash bags whilst she was still alive (but struggling to breathe due to how tightly they hog tied her) and placed a smaller bag over her head before forcing her body into a trash bin in the kitchen and pushing the lid down on top. Channon slowly suffocated to death. 

During Channon's captivity at the house, Lemaricus's on-off girlfriend who had previously moved out had turned up asking to collect the rest of her clothes. The woman had seen the others in the house behaving suspiciously and she was given a bag of clothes and told that they were hers, she didn't check inside the bag. When she tried to go to the bathroom, Lemaricus stopped her and she noticed the door was locked with what sounded like female sounds coming from behind the door, she just assumed it to be Vanessa Coleman. 

When she finally checked the bag she realised that most of these clothes belonged to someone else, she was thinking about keeping them but noticed that the clothes had been worn so she said that she didn't want them. After dumping Channon's body in the trash bin, the gang fled the scene, some of them went back to Kentucky and Eric helped Lemaricus hide out. 

Going back to that Saturday night when Channon and Chris did not show up to the party, as the night wore on their friends were growing more and more concerned, especially Kara. Their parents were none the wiser because they were under the impression that they'd be sleeping over at the house that the party was taking place. Some of their friends actually left the party to head over to Kara's apartment complex after calls to both Channon and Chris's phones continued to go unanswered. They found Chris's truck there but Channon's car was nowhere to be seen and like I mentioned before, they found this odd because Chris always liked to drive Channon around in his truck. 

Everyone returned to the party and assumed that Channon and Chris just got caught up somewhere else and just wanted to be alone. The next day Channon didn't turn up for work where she was supposed to open the store and Kara had continued to keep calling her phone to no avail. Eventually Channon's boss called her family and home and asked her mother Deena if all was ok with Channon. It was then that Deena knew that this was totally out of character and tried to contact Kara but she had just recently got a new phone so it was bedlam trying to get hold of her. When Deena finally was able to get in touch with Kara, Kara had told her that Channon wasn't there and that she was worried. 

In another horrible moment, a train engineer spotted Chris's body and contacted the authorities who came out to collect his body for autopsy. An autopsy was performed which revealed all of the horrific injuries that Chris sustained as well as evidence of the sexual assaults. Word quickly spread that Chris had been murdered and everyone was shocked and heartbroken and they were panicking about Channon. Her family contacted the police and they were useless in the beginning. 

Channon's family were determined not to give up so they contacted Channon's mobile phone company and they were able to tell them when the phone last pinged. They managed to trace the phone to an area near 2316 Chipman Street and Channon's brother found her car. They noticed that stickers had been removed as well as personal photographs, an Ipod, momentos and clothes, The seats had been pushed all the way back and the floor was really muddy which is not how Channon kept her car, she loved her car and always kept it spotless. The family contacted the police straight away to inform them. 

When investigators arrived, a letter was found inside the car and was dusted for fingerprints which were identified as belonging to Lemaricus and this is when the police went to Chipman street to look for Channon and Lemaricus and his possible accomplices. 

The way Channon's body was discovered in that trash bin in the kitchen of the rented property on Chipman Street, is both disturbing and unbelievable. It is still very hard to understand that level of evil. The poor cop that had found her in the misshapen trash can, became emotional in court when he described how she looked, her eyes were open when he found her and one cannot imagine that nightmare. It was a disrespectful and disgusting way to leave someone like that.

The cops tracked all of them down, even being able to trace them in Kentucky so the police did start acting a bit better at this point although they should have taken it more seriously and helped the families more in the beginning. 

The whole evil bunch stood trial and Lemaricus and Letalvis were found guilty due to the overwhelming DNA evidence against them. Lemaricus was given a death sentence whilst Letalvis was given life without parole. George Thomas was also given life, Vanessa Coleman was given 35 years, since she's been behind bars, she has done appeals which have failed and she'd been turned down for parole many times. Eric Boyd was given 18 years because nobody knew how connected he was to the case, it soon became apparent that he was more involved then was originally thought and fingerprints were found on a holster underneath a car seat in Adrienne's car along with bullets. In a strange turn of events, the judge who had been involved in the original trials of each of the defendants (who were all tried separately) had been charged with misconduct because he had been conducting trials whilst addicted to drugs. In some of the cases that the judge had been residing they had allowed the opportunities for a retrial. Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins were not offered this because of the overwhelming evidence proving their guilt. George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman both had retrials separately but were still convicted and found guilty. Eric Boyd almost walked out of jail early having been sentenced to just 18 years previously for apparently being an accessory after the fact, he was due to be up for possible release in 2022 but thankfully he was found guilty on all counts in 2019 after George Thomas and Letalvis Cobbins claimed that he was involved in the rape and murder of Christopher with evidence to support this fact. He was ordered by a judge to spend the rest of his life in prison. He gave no reaction when the jury gave their verdicts of 'guilty' on every charge. He almost got away with it, thank God he didn't. 

(The evil gang led by Lemaricus Davidson. Picture credit: dailymail)

New laws were introduced in tribute to Channon and Christopher which came into law officially in 2014. They included The Channon Christian Act which prevented future situations in court where a defendant and their lawyer could make private, unsavory comments about a victim or share a victim's private past with any problems to do with their mental health or possible substance misuse or sex life in an attempt to put a bad light on the victim. During his trial, Lemaricus told lies in an attempt to ruin the reputations of Chris and Channon, he claimed that the young couple were drug addicts that came to his house looking to buy drugs. This was lies of course and nobody took the lies seriously. 

The Christopher Newsom Act prevents the judge from acting as a '13th juror' therefore placing the ultimate decision in the hands of the jury as to the defendants fate. The judge is then responsible for taking the final decision of the jury and deciding the sentence that the accused should face. Because of the drama surrounding the disgraced judge, Richard Baumgartner, the original sentences and trials of the five perpetrators were called into question and the subject of re-trials came up. Luckily everything turned out right but imagine if these monsters were given a softer judge who gave them reduced sentences? The only good thing to come out of this was that Eric Boyd was looked at again and had his sentence changed to life. 

Channon Christian who was incredibly loved and treasured by her family and friends was laid to rest in the beautiful Berry Highland West Memorial Park in Knoxville. Chris was buried in the equally as beautiful and peaceful, Woodhaven Memorial Gardens in Claxton. Anderson County. They are both incredibly missed and everyone who happens to come across this horrendous story is deeply saddened and horrified about how these two young people died. 

It's a case that I will never forget and before I spent the past week researching this case, I only knew about the horror of the actual ordeals and the murders, I didn't know about the ridiculous drama afterwards with the poor families of the couple having to be dragged to the courts time and again having the absolute fear and dread that these monsters were possibly going to be out on the streets before they knew it. For years the families had this extra ordeal to face after losing their loved ones in such a devastating way. The sigh of sheer relief could be heard in the courtroom when Eric Boyd was found guilty of all charges, it was like the last piece of the nightmare could finally be put to an end, every single one of them had been dealt with in the eyes of the law. A lot of people believe that all of them should have been given the death penalty but like all cases it amounts to evidence and although there was plenty to prove that each of them had a part to play to various levels, there was no doubt as to Lemaricus Davidson's role as the leader of this sick gang and his fingerprints and DNA being all over the place as well as on and inside of the victims. He had the sickening audacity to wear Chris's shoes and use his cellphone right after he murdered him. There was not one shred of humanity in this monster. 

It's heartbreaking to think that Channon and Chris were only in there early 20s but a small comfort to know that they had so many people who loved them, they had people in their lives that loved them so much that they left no stone unturned until they found them. When they didn't show up at the party, their friends noticed that they were not there, they cared and wanted to know that they were ok. Nobody gave up calling them and checking to see how they were. In some families and situations, there are times, sadly, where people are not discovered missing until days and weeks, even months later. People thought the world of Channon and Chris so much that when they were not around, people noticed. Even years after their deaths, people still break down in tears at their loss and the horrible way that these lovely lives were stolen. What happened to them will never be forgotten and the memories that they left behind will never be forgotten either. 

(One of the memorials dedicated to Channon and Chris. Picture credit: wate)

RIP Channon & Chris x

The house of horror on 2316 Chipman street where the evil crimes took place is no longer standing, it has since been demolished. 

Further Reading & Sources: 

Woodhaven Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens

-  Berry Highland West Memorial Park | Find A Grave

Channon Christian | Find A Grave

Chris Newsom | Find A Grave

Judge Richard Baumgartner: Article | Knox News

Murders of Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom | Wikipedia

George Thomas Retrial | Court on Crime

Eric Boyd Trial Playlist | Law & Crime Network

The Murders of Channon Christian & Chris Newsom | Documentary: Knoxville News Sentinel

Lemaricus Davidson: Trial Footage | Knoxville News Sentinel

Christian - Newsom News Report | WBIR News Channel 10

Channon Christian & Chis Newsom: Timeline | WVLT

Knoxville Five: Article | Daily Star

Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom Case | Crime Library

Channon Christian & Chris Newsom: Article | Local 3 News

Channon Christian & Chris Newsom: Article | NBC News

Knoxville, Tennessee | Wikipedia

The Kriss Donald Case | True Crime With Caledonian Kitty

Thank you if you have been able to make it all the way through this post, I appreciate that it is a very difficult read to get through. I hope you will join me next time for another true crime case. You can find me on my socials here. If you would like to help support my blog/work, you can do so here, thank you, it really helps. 

See you in the next post x 


  1. I finished reading your new true crime post Jo.

    This is a case that will stick with me forever. I agree with you Jo, there is source of evilness that we can’t explain in our sick world. Lemaricus Devall Davidson and his gang are the devil. What they have done to this beautiful couple is horrendous and can’t be put into word. I’m so disturbed and heartbroken. They could have taken the car but no, they wanted to murdered these two angels and fulfill their sick fantasies.

    All the gang members are pure evil. It was a bit of a relief to read that Lemaricus was given a death sentence and Letalvis a life without parole. I think that every member of that sick gang should have received the death penalty. This is a case that I was all for the death sentence. The brutal gruesome murders that they have been committing was something that I will never forget.

    I was glad to read that new laws were introduced in tribute to Channon and Christopher. I was also relief to read that Eric Boyd sentence changed and that monster will spend the rest of his life in prison.

    RIP to Channon Christian & Christopher Newsom Xx

    1. This was another difficult case but I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, thank you x