10-Years Ago Today: Black Criminals Kill, Torture Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

It has been 10 years this week since the heinous kidnappings, rape and murders of a young Knoxville couple. The crime forever changed two families, resulted in several new laws and led to years upon years of court proceedings.

The randomness of the crimes left the community in fear and the victims’ families have been forced to constantly relive the nightmare, appearing in court more than 350 times in their pursuit of justice.

The Murders

Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend Chris Newsom, 23, did not arrive at a friend’s party on January 6, 2007, and never returned home to their parents. They were last seen at the Washington Ridge Apartments. The next day, a train conductor reported a body near the railroad tracks and 9th Avenue in East Knoxville. The next day it was learned the bound and burned body was that of Chris Newsom and later it was revealed he had been raped, beaten and shot.

Tim Miller was the first reporter from WATE on the scene.

“We started hearing on Sunday from family members that two young people were missing and that is when we learned of the discovery of Chris’s body,” he said in a recent interview.

In the hours that followed, fear set in about Channon Christian’s fate. Chris Newsom’s own father fought back tears.

“He would not have hesitated one moment with her in danger, without putting his own life on the line. He was that type,” said Hugh Newsom in 2007.

Meanwhile, friends and family started their own massive search, leading…

Read more