Newsom, Christian Families Reaction To Rally

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- The parents of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian are responding to the racially motivated rallies.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford sat down with them and found some differing opinions all around.

Chris Newsom's room is exactly how he left it the day he left for his date with girlfriend Channon Christian.

The brutally murdered young couple is at the center of the rallies.

"I don't see the purpose of the rallies," said Mary Newsom. "I don't think Chris would've been impressed with it or would've liked it. In fact, I think he might have been embarrassed by it."

Chris' mother, Mary, says the protesters are doing much more harm than good, but her husband, Hugh, disagrees.

"I don't object to their right to assemble and project their cause," said Hugh Newsom. "I think they feel they're doing it for Chris and Channon."

Hugh says he is, however, upset with the groups not having all of their facts straight.

"The police and District Attorney's Office have assured me that there was no parts missing from either body," Hugh said, "they have distorted that."

The Newsom's do agree that Chris and Channon's murder was as torturous as it was because of the color of their skin.

"Would they have done that to a black couple?" Hugh asked. "I don't think so."

"With all the things they did to them, what else could you call it but hate," said Mary.

But Channon Christian's father, Gary, says it wasn't about race.

"I think any kind of crime like that's a hate crime," said Gary Christian. Was it racial? No, I don't think so."

Gary says he doesn't like his daughter's pictures posted all over for the protesters personal agenda.

"I don't like anybody using my daughter," Gary said. "Everybody go home, Get this court over with. Let the people pay for what they did."

Whatever happens, the Newsom's say they just want their son to be honored.

"We love you Chris," the parents said.

The Newsom's say they, like the protesters, don't understand why the murder has not received national attention.

Mr. Christian tells us the protesters came to Channon's grave site recently and wants them to know that they better not enter onto the private property again.

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