July 31, 2013
A CASE THAT DIDN’T GET ANYTHING LIKE TRAYVON-LEVEL PRESS ATTENTION: Christopher Newsom, Channon Christian Remembered, 6 Years After Horrific Torture Slaying.
Authorities ultimately determined that Newsom and Christian had dined at a local restaurant on the night of Jan. 6. Afterward, Christian spoke briefly with her mother and told her that she and Newsom were planning to visit a friend’s house to watch a movie. Sometime after that call took place, Christian and Newsom were abducted from an apartment complex parking lot. Over the course of the next several hours, the pair was beaten, raped, tortured and murdered.
According to later court testimony by Knox County Acting Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, Newsom had been repeatedly sodomized with an object. His limbs were bound, he was gagged and blindfolded. At some point in the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2007, Newsom was dragged outside to a set of nearby railroad tracks, where he was shot execution-style, in the back of his head, neck and back. His body was then set ablaze, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.
The medical examiner said Christian’s last few hours on earth were also horrific and unthinkable.
The young woman, he said, was tortured for several hours and sustained injuries to her mouth, anus and vagina. She had been beaten about the head with an unknown object and raped. Afterward, bleach was poured over Christian’s body and down her throat, in an apparent attempt to destroy DNA evidence. She was, an autopsy indicated, alive while the torture and degradations occurred. Christian was then hog-tied and covered with several bags before she was placed in a disposal bin, where she slowly suffocated to death, Mileusnic-Polchan testified.
The press heroically refrained from presenting this case in racial terms, as it did in the Martin/Zimmerman case.