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CHRISTIAN/NEWSOM UPDATE: Eric Boyd found guilty in Christian-Newsom murders. “A Knox County jury that heard a week of testimony is deciding guilt or innocence of Eric Boyd, charged in 36 counts of being involving the violent torture, rape and murder of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.”

Despite the torture and rape and the racial disparity, this never really became a national story.

I WISH THEY’D KILLED ALL THEIR ASSAILANTS: ‘It would have given her a chance to go home’: Self-defense school honors Channon Christian, Christopher Newsom.

KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL: Christian, Newsom families reflect 10 years after slayings.

The families of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom held memorial services Saturday at the graves of the two Knoxville torture slaying victims, marking the tenth anniversary of their deaths.

Christian and Newsom, 21 and 23 years old, were the victims of a 2007 carjacking in East Knoxville that ended in the torture, rape and slaying of the couple.

There’s much more, including video, at the link.

UPDATE: 10 Years Later: The Brutal Murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.

ANNALS OF RACIAL HATE: 10 years later: Remembering Christian-Newsom. “Ten years ago, a small group kidnapped, beat, tortured, raped and killed Channon Christian and her boyfriend Christopher Newsom, eventually leaving the young couple’s bodies in an industrial section of North Knoxville. . . . Newsom was almost immediately raped, fatally shot in the head, and set afire along nearby railroad tracks between Ninth Avenue and Cherry Street. Christian was tortured and raped for several days before suffocating in a trash can with plastic bags over her head.”

There was no White House commentary, and no mass marches or riots. And not all that much press attention. Because these horrors did not Advance The Narrative.

FRESH NEWS IN AN OLD KNOXVILLE MURDER CASE: Tennessee Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Lemaricus Davidson.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for the main suspect in the 2007 murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville.

Lemaricus Davidson sought to overturn his convictions on counts including first degree murder and two death sentences. . . .

Christian and Newsom went missing in January 2007 in North Knoxville. Newsom’s burned body was found the next day by the railroad tracks near Davidson’s home. He had been brutally raped and shot three times. Later, Christian’s vehicle as found down the street and police found a bank envelope in her back seat with Davidson’s fingerprint.

Police then searched Davidson’s house and found Christian’s body in a garbage can in the kitchen, beaten, raped and suffocated to death.

Davidson was found guilty in October 2009 of multiple counts of first degree felony murder, first degree premeditated murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated rape, facilitation of aggravated rape, and theft of property. He was then given two death sentences. The Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld the verdict and sentences last year.

A very ugly case that got comparatively little national attention.

TOUGH PROJECT: A documentary on the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murders.

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.

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.

TALKING TO THE PROSECUTORS in the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murder case.

DEATH ON CHIPMAN STREET: The Knoxville News-Sentinel video crew wins an Edward R. Murrow Award for this documentary about the Christian / Newsom murders.

VIDEO: Death On Chipman Street: The Channon Christian / Chris Newsom torture-murders.

ONLINE FREE SPEECH: Judge won’t seek to limit online comments on carjack case. “A Knox County judge this afternoon issued an order refusing to require local media to shut down anonymous commentary allowed on their Web sites. Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner’s ruling comes in the case of the fatal carjacking and torture slaying of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.” This is the right decision, not least because such an order would be unconstitutional, and probably in violation of statute, too.

SINCE THE CHANNON CHRISTIAN / CHRISTOPHER NEWSOM TORTURE-MURDER CASE got a lot of blogospheric attention a while back, here’s a followup:

A house where a Knox County couple was tortured and slain was razed today. “It was an evil place,” said Gary Christian, whose 21-year-old daughter was killed inside the 2316 Chipman St. house. “I’m glad it’s gone.”

Waste Connections Inc., which is located next door to the house, bought it with the intent of tearing it down and putting in its place a memorial honoring Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom. Authorities allege they were kidnapped and taken to the house on Chipman Street where they both were raped and tortured. Newsom was shot, his body set on fire and left along railroad tracks on Cherry Street, according to police.

There’s been one conviction so far, in a plea bargain. As for the rest: “Letalvis Cobbins, 25, is the first of the four to face trial in Knox County Criminal Court, scheduled for Jan. 26. His girlfriend, Vanessa Coleman, 20. will be tried in April. His brother, Lemaricus Davidson, 27, faces a July trial, while pal George Thomas, 25, will stand trial in August.”

WE’VE HAD THE FIRST CONVICTION in the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom carjacking/torture/murder case, which got a fair amount of blogospheric attention at one point.

KATIE GRANJU on bogus reports of a TV movie featuring Britney Spears on the Channon Christian murder.

A LOOK AT what’s a hate crime, and what isn’t, using the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murders as a springboard.

HATE CRIME BILL UPDATE: In the latest National Journal, Stuart Taylor writes on Hate Crimes and double standards:

Consider three criminal cases.

No. 1: Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend, Channon Christian, both students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, were carjacked while on a dinner date in January, repeatedly raped (both of them), tortured, and killed. His burned body was found near a railroad track. Hers was stuffed into a trash can. Five suspects have been charged. The crimes were interracial.

No. 2: Three white Duke lacrosse players were accused in March 2006 of beating, kicking, choking, and gang-raping an African-American stripper, while pelting her with racial epithets, during a team party.

No. 3: Sam Hays bumped against Mike Martin in a crowded bar, spilling beer on Martin’s “gay pride” sweatshirt. Martin yelled, “You stupid bastard, I should kick your ass.” Hays muttered, “You damned queer” and threw a punch, bloodying Martin’s lip.

Now the quiz.

Which of these would qualify as a federal case under a House-passed bill — widely acclaimed by editorial writers, liberal interest groups, law enforcement officials, and many others — expanding federal jurisdiction to prosecute “hate crimes”?

Bonus question: Why have the interracial rape-torture-murders in Knoxville been completely ignored by the same national media that clamor for more laws to stop hate crimes — the same media that erupted in a guilt-presuming feeding frenzy for months over the far less serious Duke lacrosse charges, which were full of glaring holes from the start and turned out to be fraudulent?

The answers.

The interracial Knoxville rape-murders would probably not qualify as hate crimes. The reason is that although the murderers were obviously full of hate, it cannot be proven that they hated their victims because of race. (Or so say police.)

Both the Duke lacrosse case and the (fictional) barroom scuffle, on the other hand, would probably be federally prosecutable under the bill that the House passed on May 3 by 237-180. This is because the angry words attributed to the accused could prove racist and homophobic motivations, respectively.

Do such distinctions make any sense? Not much, in my view.

He also notes a media double standard: “The reason that the national media have ignored the Knoxville case is that the defendants are black and the victims were white. The media would also be uninterested if both the victims and the defendants were black. But had the victims been black and the accused white, the media would have erupted into the same politically correct sensationalism that characterized the Duke case. And many would have cited the case as proof that we need more hate crime laws.”

I think that’s probably right. The link above is subscriber-only, but you can read the whole thing for the next few days at this link.

Meanwhile, A.C. Kleinheider says “Nazis! I hate those guys!”

UPDATE: More from Nat Hentoff.

THE KNOXVILLE NEWS-SENTINEL OFFERS FACTS VS. FICTION in the Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murders. Excerpt:

# Fiction: Christian was held captive four days.
# Fact: Christian was dead within 24 hours of the kidnapping.

# Fiction: Christian’s breasts were cut off and Newsom’s penis severed.
# Fact: Neither Christian nor Newsom was mutilated, although both suffered tearing injuries from being repeatedly raped.

# Fiction: Christian was dismembered and placed in five separate trash bags.
# Fact: Christian’s intact body was wrapped in trash bags and dumped in a large garbage can.

# Fiction: Acid was poured down Christian’s throat.
# Fact: A cleaning solution was poured in Christian’s mouth in an apparent attempt to wash away DNA evidence.

# Fiction: The slaying suspects allegedly targeted white people.
# Fact: The slaying suspects have told authorities they targeted Christian’s Toyota 4Runner.

The truth seems bad enough. And here’s more on the story and how it’s been played.

UPDATE: Related thoughts here.

JOHN LEO looks at Knoxville’s Channon Christian / Christopher Newsom murders and comments on the politics of news. “Before long, more news consumers will conclude that even crime news is in effect being politicized. Is this any way to protect an industry in trouble?”

Plus, ironically the news folks’ desire not to give white supremacist types ammo winds up doing just that.

HERE’S MORE ON THE CHANNON CHRISTIAN / CHRISTOPHER NEWSOME KILLING, from the Associated Press. Trial has been set for later this month. next year.

UPDATE: More coverage here.

THE MEDIA SCRIPT: Reader Gary Casteel emails:

Why don’t you ponder the media focus on the Duke lacrosse rape case compared to the media focus on the recent sadistic murder of the young Knoxville couple?

It was not a carjacking, it was a hate crime pure and simple. What’s been released to the public clearly indicates that it was a hate crime.

If the young couple had been black and the suspects white can you imagine the media attention, both local, and of course national? Why do local authorities continue to call this a “carjacking”?

Well, “hate crime” goes to motivation and I’m not so sure that there was a racial motivation here — and I don’t really like the “hate crime” concept anyway. Murder is murder either way. And the story’s bad enough without that:

Investigators believe Channon Christian and her boyfriend were carjacked and she was held hostage and raped repeatedly for days before her death, a federal marshal said Thursday.

Details of the slayings surfaced on the same day authorities captured three men sought for questioning in the killings of Christian and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom.

That said, it’s certainly true that if the races were reversed the media would be employing an irrebuttable presumption that it was a hate crime. This double standard, though, is actually unfair to blacks, assuming that horrific crimes by white people must be motivated by something special, like racial hatred, while similar crimes by black people are just par for the course. Like so many of those double standards, it manages to be racist in both directions at once.