Ur Place

April 12, 2008

Girlfriend: Davidson said Christian was forced to shoot Newsom

Filed under: Lifestyle — halfevil @ 11:54 am

The girlfriend of the accused ringleader in a fatal carjacking told jurors this afternoon her now ex-beau claimed Channon Christian was forced to kill her boyfriend.

“He told me Channon shot Christopher (Newsom) … that they made her do it,” Daphne Sutton acknowledged under cross-examination by defense attorney Phil Lomonaco on behalf of Eric Dewayne “E” Boyd.

Lomonaco was trying to show that Sutton knew about the fatal carjacking and her boyfriend Lemaricus “Slim” Davidson’s involvement and yet harbored him and failed to notify police of what she knew.

Boyd is on trial for allegedly hiding out Davidson after Sutton would no longer allow him to stay with her in the days following the January 2007 torture/slayings of the University of Tennessee student and her boyfriend.

In opening statements earlier this week, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings told jurors that Newsom was shot three times, one that he called a “kill shot” to the head by one of the four charged with kidnapping, raping and killing Christian and Newsom.

Jennings indicated in his questioning of Sutton that Davidson told several lies to Sutton in a bid to convince her to give him a place to stay.

Sutton, whose uncle is Knoxville Police Department Officer Dennis R. Bible, has not been charged, and Lomonaco has alleged she was spared prosecution, both because she is white and the remaining suspects black, and her uncle works for the lead investigative agency in the case.

Sutton admitted lying to police in the hours after Christian’s body was found inside the Chipman Street house she had shared with Davidson.

“We were scared,” Sutton said of her and two girlfriends she was staying with at the time. “We didn’t know what to do … I had just found out he (Davidson) had killed somebody.”

There has never been an indication in any court records or hearings that authorities believe Christian was forced to shoot Newsom.

However, prosecutors have repeatedly said that the only people who know what happened are either behind bars and keeping quiet or dead.

Lomonaco this morning demanded a mistrial, arguing federal prosecutors were trying to sneak in evidence implicating his client in a fatal carjacking when he is charged only with being an accessory.

“Clearly this is evidence of uncharged crimes that is only intended to inflame the jury and to suggest to the jury Mr. Boyd was involved in this carjacking,” Lomonaco said as the trial’s second full day of testimony began in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Stone countered that he and Jennings must prove that Boyd knew about the carjacking in order to prove he helped hide out one of the carjacking suspects, alleged ringleader Lemaricus “Slim” Davison.

“The United States did not create the facts in this case. They are what they are,” Stone said.

Judge Tom Varlan shot down the mistrial request, saying that the jury would be properly informed of the relevance of testimony yesterday that arguably could place Boyd at the scene of the slayings of Christian, 21, and Newsom, 23.

“The court does not find these motions to be well taken,” Varlan said.

This morning’s mistrial effort by Lomonaco comes after prosecutors Thursday mounted what sounded more like a case for murder than accessory to a fatal carjacking.

“We’ve got (some) evidence now,” Knoxville Police Department Investigator Todd Childress responded when unsuccessfully pressed by Boyd’s defense Thursday to label as lies statements implicating Boyd in the torture slayings of Christian and Newsom and the carjacking that preceded the deaths.

“There’s not enough at this time I can prove,” Childress continued, putting an emphasis on the words “at this time.”

Childress’ promise of a continued prosecutorial push to unearth evidence of Boyd’s alleged involvement in the slayings came in the first full day of testimony offered up by Jennings and Stone.

The investigator’s comments also came at the end of a day chock full of testimony laced with circumstantial proof that Boyd was alongside Davidson and at least two other suspects already charged in the slayings during the hours Christian and Newsom were held captive, raped and ultimately killed.

First came Waste Connections of Tennessee employee Xavier Jenkins, who was parked in the firm’s Chipman Street lot next to the house where the couple was, unbeknownst to him, being held captive. Jenkins said he immediately noticed something odd about that house.

“It was busy,” he said. “The porch light was on, looked like a couple of lights were on side. There were cars parked out front. It looked like there was traffic going in and out of the house.”

He also noticed a silver Toyota 4 Runner since identified as Christian’s carjacked vehicle parked in front of the house. The vehicle’s parking lights were on. He also saw parked behind the Toyota a white Pontiac Sunbird.

Jenkins later saw the Toyota headed toward him as he sat in his vehicle eating a snack.

“The truck, the SUV, it slowed down to look at me like, ‘Why are you here at 2 o’clock in the morning?’ I took the attitude, ‘Hey, I’m supposed to be here. Why are you here?’ They gave me attitude so I gave them one back. … It slowed down so much I could tell how many people were in that truck.”

Jenkins, who is black, said he saw four black men inside Christian’s 4 Runner. After the brief encounter, Jenkins said the driver essentially circled the block as if heading back to the Chipman Street house before he lost sight of it.

“It made me feel like they wanted to come by and see who I was and then go back,” he said.

Jenkins reported to work. A few hours later, he and some co-workers again saw the 4 Runner. It was parked in the firm’s lot.

“The car was out of place,” he said. “Initially we thought we were going to find some teenagers making out because it was kind of dark out there.”

The Toyota instead appeared abandoned. Authorities contend it would later be wiped down and distinctive stickers removed from its rear hatch.

In a bit of “Law & Order” style drama, Stone then showed Jenkins – in full view of the jury – a photographic lineup of white vehicles in search of a match of the Sunbird he also saw parked at the Chipman Street house during a time when authorities believe Christian and Newsom were being held captive and brutalized.

“That particular car with that pinstripe is the car,” Jenkins said, pointing out a particular photograph.

“How sure are you this was the car you saw in back of that 4 Runner?” Stone asked.

“One hundred percent sure,” Jenkins responded.

Stone then sent to the witness stand Adrienne Nicole Mathis, who is Boyd’s cousin.

“That’s my car,” she said when shown the same photograph.

When Stone asked her where her car had been on the weekend of the slayings, she answered, “Someone borrowed it.”

“Who borrowed your car?” Stone asked as the courtroom fell silent.

“Eric Boyd,” she said.

She said she next saw the car on Monday, Jan. 8, 2007. It was “broken down” in front of Boyd’s mother’s Ridgebrook apartment. Inside, she said she saw a sandwich bag of bullets and heard Boyd talking on a cellular phone, saying, “He might be in some trouble.”

Mathis confessed she had lied to police and a federal grand jury because of “pressure from my family,” which included a phone call Wednesday night from her sister warning her not to testify.

Defense attorney Phil Lomonaco has told jurors Mathis drove Boyd to the Chipman Street house sometime in the evening of Jan. 7, 2007, but that he never saw Christian or Newsom and was unaware of the fatal carjacking. Mathis denied that on the witness stand. Lomonaco tried to paint her a liar not then but now.

“This is the story prosecutors want you to tell, is it not?” he demanded.

“No,” she answered.

More details as they develop online and in Saturday’s News Sentinel.


1 Comment »

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

    Pingback by Atlanta Pontiac Dealers » Blog Archive » Girlfriend: Davidson said Christian was forced to shoot Newsom — April 12, 2008 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

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