KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Opening arguments and testimony in the trial for a man accused in the gruesome murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom started the morning of August 6.
Marcos Garza discusses the Christian-Newsom trial with WVLT News anchor Ted Hall / Source: WVLT News
The jury deliberated on the fate of Eric Boyd on Aug. 12; however, a decision was not made. Court is set to resume on Aug. 13.
Knoxville defense attorney Marcos Garza stopped by WVLT News studios to discuss the events of the trial with WVLT News anchor Ted Hall and what could be on the jurors' minds as they deliberate the case.
Hall: The jury after a portion of the day not being able to come to a conclusion on 36 counts, any kind of surprise?
Garza: No, 36 counts is just so much to wade through. Not at all.
Hall: Why would they let off so early? Wouldn't they work until 7, 8 or 9 o'clock?
Garza: I imagine whenever you get 12 or 14 people together...somebody's got childcare issues...these are real people...somebody's going to have a conflict. The other thing is, maybe the judge had somewhere to be, as well. The other thing, this is such a weighty and heavy sort of topic. I think the judge probably concluded 'we're, not going to get a verdict the first night'.
Hall asked Garza about Boyd's counts, some of which differ only slightly, some of which are lesser. You can see the charges here.
Hall: They're having to tackle each one of these. There's not just one count that says 'guilty of everything' or 'not guilty' of everything.
Garza: That's right, and for each count there's also several lesser included. If it's not this, then maybe it's a lesser included, which essentially is a similar charge that has one less element in it.
Hall: Tomorrow could take longer. Are they arguing? What typically happens in one of these jury rooms?
Garza: Usually, there are quite a few arguments. One thing about this case, though, is once Judge McGhee decided it was going to be a Knox County jury...I feel like it's really hard in Knoxville, Tennessee not to have a great deal of familiarity with this case and not to have a very strong feeling. I would suspect that there may be less argument...than there would be in something else. I would imagine that there are a lot of jurors, if you're from Knox County, that I would tend to suspect would be leaning towards guilty. That's just me talking.
Hall asked if the defense's case, which may have rested quickly to the "untrained perspective," was unusual.
Hall: Did [the defense] get enough chance to build their case during the prosecution's case that they didn't have a lot more to add?
Garza: A lot of times, you just can't control a defendant. Usually a prosecutor...is a very talented person. The chances that [ADA TaKisha Fitzgerald] is going to score points, for lack of a better word, is probably pretty high. The second thing, too, it seems like [Boyd's attorney] Clinton Frazier's opinion...was...the state's case is based on tainted testimony or testimony that has been persuaded by less time in prison. Because of that, that theory didn't really need to be developed through additional witnesses. That was covered during the state's case via cross examination.
Hall: One of the main witnesses against Boyd is a convicted killer in the same case who is apparently getting a 10-year reduction in sentence. Is that unusual?
Garza: No, that's commonly done in both federal and state court. George Thomas...he'll get out in around 42 and a half. Instead of getting out at age 81, he'll be 72 and a half years if he makes it that long.
Hall: Does the jury look at that and think, 'wait, he got a deal. I can't believe anything he says'.
Garza: That's what the defense attorney would like for the jury to believe. That's what Clinton Frazier was sort of driving home, that you really can't trust this.
Hall asked Garza what the jury would do after their dismissal on Aug. 12.
Garza: Personally, I feel like a Knox County jury is probably going to find Eric Boyd guilty on all counts or something very close to that. I just find it very difficult to believe that they're not just going to get back there, throw up their hands and say, 'you know what, he did most of it or all of it.'
Garza said he wasn't sure that a jury would care about counts that they "weren't sure about."
WVLT News' coverage of the trial is set to resume on Tuesday. Watch it here.
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