Upon discovering the corpses of Christopher Newsom, 23, and his girlfriend, Channon Christian, 21, on January 7 and 8, 2007, respectively, Knoxville, Tennessee authorities stonewalled the media as to the cause of death and the bodies’ condition. In response, white supremacist Internet radio host Hal Turner set in motion rumors that the assailants had lopped off Newsom’s penis and one of Christian’s breasts. But what Channon Christian actually endured proved every bit as bad as the rumors.
During the first Knoxville Horror trial last month, in which Eric Dewayne Boyd was convicted as an accessory after the fact to carjacking, testimony by acting Knox County medical examiner, Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan, confirmed what federal court papers had reported in January, 2007: Christopher Newsom had been raped, with “bruising and swelling around the anus.” Mileusnic-Polchan testified that Newsom was shot, with the kill shot delivered execution-style from a gun touching the back of his head, and was already dead when his killer doused him with gasoline and set him on fire. As for Channon Christian,
Christian had been beaten with enough force to cause bruising on her brain, but the worst injuries, Mileusnic-Polchan said, were sustained in what she described as a savage sexual assault. “It’s much more than a simple sexual trauma,” she testified. “It’s extreme.” She said Christian was not only repeatedly raped both orally, vaginally and rectally, but that it appears an object was used in the attack. Christian had extensive injuries in the genital region and her mouth, including the tearing of the membrane that connected Christian's lips to her gums.[Jury wants to go home; deliberations in Boyd case to begin in a.m.by Jamie Satterfield, Knoxville News Sentinel, April 15, 2008 ]Christian’s assailants unsuccessfully sought to eliminate all DNA evidence from her body. Although they had already decided to kill her, to further torture her, they washed her vagina, rectum, and mouth with an astringent cleaning solution while she was alive.
[Mileusnic-Polchan] said Christian suffocated because she was [tied up and] placed into a forced fetal position inside the trash can as well as because of a plastic garbage bag that had been pulled tightly over her face. “It was a slow asphyxia death,” she said. “My conclusion was she actually died in the trash can.” Tennessee Bureau of Investigation serology expert Jennifer Millsaps linked brothers Davidson and Letalvis “Rome” Cobbins to the sexual attack on Christian.