More than 2 years later, families see pictures of crime scene, murdered loved ones

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- For the first time, the families of murder victims Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom saw pictures of the crime scene and pictures of the bodies of their loved ones.

The carjacking and murders happened two and a half years ago, but Thursday afternoon the judge decided which pictures would be admissible and which would not for trial.

As upsetting as the pictures are, the victims' families believe they will ultimately help their case and bring justice for Channon and Chris.

"I've waited two and a half years to see my son. And it didn't matter to me what it was going to look like," Mary Newsom said.

Both the Newsoms and the Christians opted to view the pictures-- the pictures acknowledged by all to be gruesome.

Multiple times the court had to stop, to explain to the judge what he was looking at.

The defense argued that many of the pictures were disturbing and the jury shouldn't be allowed to see them.

But the victims' families told us every picture should be admitted as evidence.

"It shows what those animals did to our kids. How inhumanely they treated them," Hugh Newsom said. "And the public, the jury, everyone involved should know that."

"I'm so sick of the defense objecting to every picture they have in there because it's gruesome. Well, excuse my French, but what the hell do they think they did to Chris and Channon?" Deena Christian asked, exasperated.

And every time the defense objected, the anger building in Gary Christian was evident as he would sit and rock. He admits he'd like to settle the score himself.

"What keeps you from jumping over there?" Volunteer TV asked Gary Christian.
"I don't know," he said. "It ain't because I don't want to."

Both sets of parents say these pictures are only part of the story of what happened to their children. And they hope that when the pictures are introduced in court, justice will soon follow.

"Seeing them before we go in there may keep me from going over that wall. We'll see," Gary Christian said.

There are at least 2,000 pictures in this investigation because the sheriff's office says there are seven different crime scenes.

The state would like to introduce about 500 of them into evidence. The defense says it has a problem with about 70 of those.

During the hearing on Thursday, the judge said he would allow most of them, excluding some duplicates.

The hearing will continue on Friday with more defense motions.

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