Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Christian-Newsom Torture Murder - Day 5 Eric Boyd Trial

 Christopher Newsom & Channon Christian


August 12, 2019
As Day 5 begins, the prosecution reads into the record Adrienne Mathis testimony in the 2008 federal trial of Eric Boyd.

"Mathis said Boyd, her cousin, borrowed her car (white Pontiac used by the suspects to get to the apartment complex where they carjacked the couple) on either the fifth or sixth of January."
"Mathis said she found a bag of bullets in her car."
The state rested its case. The defense moved for the case to be dismissed due to lack of evidence. Judge Bob McGee ruled it can go to the jury. 

The defendant declined to testify. The defense rested. 

ADA Phil Morton gave the closing argument to the jury. Morton emphasized Xavier Jenkins' testimony of seeing the Pontiac Sunbird which Boyd had provided for the drive to the apartment complex where the victims were kidnapped. Jenkins also saw activity at the Chipman house, Christian's car, the Pontiac Sunbird parked behind Christian's car, and four black men in Christian's car. If there were four black men, one had to be Boyd.

Morton mentioned Mathis' testimony. He points out what George Thomas saw in the Pontiac. Thomas saw Boyd bring the victims in the house, bring Newsom to the tracks. 

Morton mentions the violence inflicted on the victim's bodies, the attempt to destroy evidence with bleach, and Boyd's DNA on the gun holster. 

The state said Boyd hid Davidson after the crimes. The state said Boyd was the only one with transportation to fulfill plans to steal a car and carry out the carjacking. "How are they going to get there? It's miles away."

The state goes through all 36 charges in order and shows the evidence on every charge. The charges are 9 counts of first degree murder of Newsom, 9 counts of first degree murder of Christian, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts of aggravated kidnapping and 12 counts of aggravated rape.

The state goes over the concept of criminal responsibility, which was used to convict Thomas twice. Then the timeline is reviewed. 

Morton said of Boyd, "He set the wheels in motion, literally and figuratively for all this to happen." 

Morton said the suspects were a team who had choices in their actions. They were a "team of rapists." And "it was there for just unimaginable reasons, they decided to brutalize these kids. They decided to rape these kids," Morton said. 

Morton used Thomas' account to say Boyd shot Newsom in the head. Morton explained why they were previously unable to use Thomas' statement against Boyd. 

One suspects statement to police can't be used against another suspect unless he takes the stand. Photos of the victims came on the screen when Morton finished his argument.

The defense attorney, Clinton Frazier, began by saying the acts were "disgusting" but it was Davidson, Cobbins, Thomas, and Coleman. 

Frazier pointed out none of the DNA evidence belonged to Boyd. The state proved its case against the others, but not Boyd. 

Frazier claimed Jenkins saw only silhouettes, not features. He said Thomas's loyalty is to Cobbins, and still doesn't implicate Cobbins. 

Frazier details Thomas' conflicting accounts, which "don't make sense." 

Frazier said "Don't let your anger make the decision for you." He asks the jury to hold the state to its burdens and find Boyd not guilty.

The defendants have been skillfully defended in every trial. 

Takisha Fitzgerald, who has been the lead prosecutor throughout, gave the rebuttal. 

Fitzgerald said the state had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt. She reviews all the evidence and said testimony corroborates it. 

"Mr. Boyd was a part of it...We ask you to hold Mr. Boyd accountable," Fitzgerald said. She said it took 12 years because they want to get it right."

The judge read the instructions to the jury. Three men and one woman were excused. The final panel is seven women and five men. 

The jury deliberated for two and a half hours Monday and recessed for the evening. They are to resume deliberations at 9 am. 

David in TN