January 7, 2013

A FOLLOWUP ON THE CHANNON CHRISTIAN / CHRISTIAN NEWSOM MURDERS: Newsom memorial draws loved ones, strangers alike.

Now six years on, Hugh and Mary Newsom have yet to find justice for their son.

As they faced yet another anniversary of his death Sunday, though, loved ones and strangers alike gathered around the couple to help bring them, perhaps, a moment’s peace.

Christopher Newsom, 23, and his girlfriend, Channon Christian, 21, were kidnapped while out on a date, then tortured, raped and killed.

The horrendous crimes continue to dominate the lives of both the Newsom and Christian families — and hold the attention of the larger community. Four suspects were convicted in connection with the January 2007 slayings, only to have the verdicts thrown into question when the judge who presided over the trials, Richard Baumgartner, later pleaded guilty to misconduct in a prescription painkiller scandal.

In appreciation of the community’s ongoing support, the Newsoms chose to invite the public to this year’s graveside memorial service Sunday. In response, more than 100 attendees came to pay their respects at Woodhaven Memorial Gardens in Powell.

The local justice system has not distinguished itself in this case.