The Horrifying murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

Published: Updated: 7 comments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In the early morning of January 7, 2007, three black males carjacked a vehicle driven by Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23. The men took the young couple to a house on Chipman Street, where the group tortured and killed them.

Hours later, police found Newsom’s body alongside railroad tracks near Chipman Street in East Knoxville.

Newsom’s killers had stuffed a sock in his mouth and bound his ankles with his belt. They tied his hands behind his back and wrapped his face in a bandana. Then, they covered his head with a sweatshirt fastened around his neck with shoestrings.

The men also sexually assaulted Christopher and forced him to walk barefoot to the railroad tracks, where they shot him three times, delivering the final shot execution-style.

Knoxville News-Sentinel reported, “As Christopher lay paralyzed on the ground, the muzzle of a .22-caliber gun was placed against his covered head and fired. His body would later be wrapped up in a comforter, doused in gasoline and set afire.”

Christian’s ordeal was far worse if you can imagine. The thugs tied her up inside the Chipman Street house of Lemaricus Davidson. The men repeatedly raped and sodomized her and savagely kicked or beat her in her genital area with an object.

Christian suffered two blows to the head, and the killers dragged her into the carpeted living room. One of the men sprayed bleach down her throat to destroy DNA evidence.

Then, the men hogtied her with strips of fabric from a bedding set. She was still alive when they placed her body into black garbage bags, wrapped her head in a white plastic grocery sack, and stuffed her body inside a trash can, where she eventually suffocated to death.

It was days before police found Christian’s body.

The thugs responsible for this crime are:

  1. Lemaricus Davidson — the ringleader. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection for his role in the rapes and murders.
  2. George Geovonni “Detroit” Thomas — sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  3. Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins — found guilty of the murders and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
  4. Eric DeWayne “E” Boyd — convicted in a federal court of aiding Davidson after the carjacking and murders. He is serving an 18-year prison sentence.
  5. Vanessa Coleman was acquitted of first-degree murder but sentenced to 53 years in prison for being a facilitator, not an active participant. She did absolutely nothing to save the young couple, especially Christian, who, at one point, the killers left alone in the house with Vanessa. She claimed she was innocent and forced to be there by the men. Yeah, sure.

The murders did not receive as much media attention as they should have, partly because the “rape” story at Duke University took precedence.

I REFUSE to put pictures of the killers in this post. If you want to know what they look like, Google them.

Update 8/13/19Eric Boyd was found guilty of Channon and Christopher’s 2007 murder.

Update 2/10/15: One of my readers commented below that Coleman had a new trial and was re-sentenced. At her first trial, Coleman was sentenced to 53 years in prison for her part as a facilitator in the crimes against Channon. However, after a new trial in November 2013, Coleman was given a lesser sentence of 35 years in prison.

Coleman was up for parole because she had served eight years in prison in December 2014. However, she was denied parole at the hearing. She will be up for parole again in 2020. Update: She was denied again in December 2020.


Satterfield, Jamie. “Horror of Christian/Newsom killings in focus: What happened on Chipman Street.” Knoxville News-Sentinel, August 24, 2017.


English mum April 18, 2016 - 11:15 AM

I also cried the first time I read about this case. Those responsible are truly monsters who should never be freed. What an awful ordeal for the victims.

truecrimediva April 19, 2016 - 1:37 PM

It is one of the most horrific cases I’ve ever read about. Heartbreaking but at least there was justice!

Han-Koh Chung January 14, 2016 - 2:31 AM

Why there are so many monsters in this world?

Lori February 9, 2015 - 2:06 AM

I read an article that said she was coming up for parole in 2013, they had a petition on the internet to sign to keep her in, which I couldn’t find probably because of how old it is and the decision is already made, so I guess what I’m asking is could she really be out? I also read where she was given a new trial in which she was only given 35 years.. yes that’s a lot, she should get a hell of a lot more, but what shocked me was how soon she was coming up for parole.

truecrimediva February 10, 2015 - 11:46 AM

I read parole was denied in December 2014, so she is still in prison. You’re right about the 35-year sentence. I will have to update this post. She is up for parole again in 2020. Personally, I think she should have been given life without parole from the get-go.

Lori February 8, 2015 - 1:32 PM

It just breaks my heart to know what these children went through, and that Vanessa did NOTHING to help. I have children this age, one whom is living on the streets because of addiction, and in the county I live in there are so many young people that have just vanished into thin air, I’m afraid it will happen to her. So much corruption, drugs, and sex trafficking. It’s horrible.

truecrimediva February 8, 2015 - 1:47 PM

Me, too, Lori! The first time I read about them, I cried. It was such a horrible, brutal crime.

Sorry about your child. I’ve had many struggles with one of mine, so I understand. I hope your child stays safe.

Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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