The federal court for the Eastern District of Tennessee has denied a motion for a new trial for Eric Boyd, convicted of helping murderer Lemaricus Davidson to evade police in the days after the bodies of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom were found.
Boyd was sentenced to serve 18 years for being an accessory after the fact and for misprision of a felony.
Boyd's attorneys filed for a new trial based on new accounts of witnesses' first interviews with investigators. Boyd's attorneys argued the evidence, revealed by the government after the trial, would have been favorable to Boyd at trial, to the point he deserved a new trial.
Specifically, they argued it could impeach the testimony of Waste Connections employee Xavier Jenkins, who testified as to the vehicles and people he saw at the Chipman Street house where Christian's body would later be found. They also argued the documents could impeach the testimony of a woman who lived upstairs from Eric Boyd's mother--she testified Boyd used her phone to call Davidson.
The court, however, found Jenkins testimony was not determinative of Boyd's innocence or guilt and did not supply the only evidence of the crimes.
To merit a new trial, Boyd would have had to meet four criteria: that there was new evidence after the trial, that the evidence could not have been discovered before trial through due diligence, that the evidence was material and not simply cumulative or impeaching of a witness' testimony, and that the evidence was likely to produce an acquittal.
The court found Boyd met only the first two of the four conditions.
The court also denied Boyd's motion against his sentence, finding that the court had focused in sentencing upon the events after Jenkins' testimony was relevant. The court also denied Boyd's motion to poll the jury on whether the evidence would have changed their verdict.
Boyd was the only one of five defendants charged in the crimes to be tried in federal court. The others have been charged in state court.
Two have been convicted of murder. Two are yet to go to trial.