- George Geovonni "Detroit" Thomas, 24, faced a total of 46 charges. Thomas was indicted on 16 counts of felony murder growing out of the rape, robbery, kidnapping, and theft of Christian and Newsom, 2 counts of premeditated murder, 2 counts of especially aggravated robbery, 4 counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, 20 counts of aggravated rape, and 2 counts of theft.
- Letalvis "Rome" Cobbins, 24, (b. December 20, 1982) faced the same 46 charges as Thomas. He has also been charged with assaulting a correctional officer while incarcerated pending trial. Previously in 2003, Cobbins was convicted of third-degree attempted robbery in New York state. He and Davidson are brothers. Cobbins was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- Lemaricus Devall "Slim" Davidson, 25, (b. June 13, 1981) faced the same 46 charges as Thomas. Previously Davidson had just completed serving a five-year sentence in Tennessee on a previous felony conviction for carjacking and aggravated robbery on August 5, 2006.
|All Black women are ugly we all know that but look at this ugly boot lip bitch|
smiling almost happy about what she did.
The national news media was criticized for allegedly ignoring the story because the victims were white and the suspects black. This criticism was also fueled by erroneous early reports of dismemberment and mutilations. Most of the original reports with misinformation (reported from a federal deputy US Marshal after the suspects' arrest in Kentucky) were later denied by the District Attorney.
The president of Criminal Justice Journalists, an association of crime, court and prison writers, editors and producers, said, "I can't say that this one would have had any more coverage if five whites had been accused of doing these things to two blacks, absent a blatant racial motive... as bad as this crime is, the apparent absence of any interest group involvement or any other 'angle' might also explain the lack of coverage." Police Chief Sterling Owen IV said that there is no indication the crimes were racially motivated and that the murders and assault "appears to have been a random violent act." "There is absolutely no proof of a hate crime," said John Gill, special counsel to Knox County District Atty. Randy Nichols. "We know from our investigation that the people charged in this case were friends with white people, socialized with white people, dated white people. So not only is there no evidence of any racial animus, there's evidence to the contrary."
Some commentators continued to disagree, claiming that such a crime would include a motive of racial hatred. Conservative political commentator Michelle Malkin repeated this accusation on her blog and on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor program. Prior to the DA's statement, Newsom's mother sympathized with the "hate crime" position stating, "It may have started out as a carjacking, but what it developed into was blacks hating whites." Christian's father (addressing those whom he believes used his daughter's death to further their own agenda) appeared ambivalent, stating "[the crime] ain't about you."
The case also attracted the attention of white supremacists. On May 27, 2007, around 30 white supremacists led by Alex Linder rallied in downtown Knoxville in protest of the murders. They were met by a larger number of counter-protestors, many dressed as clowns (parodying the Ku Klux Klan).
After the protest, syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts dismissed claims that the crime was underreported, citing a 2001 report that found "Blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in news media as victims of crime and significantly overrepresented as perpetrators." Pitts added that he was "unkindly disposed toward the crackpots, incendiaries and flat-out racists who have chosen this tragedy upon which to take an obscene and ludicrous stand" and that they and any other white Americans who felt victimized by the perceived under reporting could "cry me a river."
The house at 2316 Chipman Street was bought by a nearby business and razed in October 2008; the new owners of the lot planned to build a simple memorial.
An October 16, 2009 article in The Daily Mail stated, "Ironically, the case has now generated more publicity surrounding the furore over whether or not political correctness was behind the US media’s decision to largely ignore the story than it did for the murders themselves." The same article quoted commentator Michelle Malkin as saying, "This case – an attractive white couple murdered by five black thugs – doesn’t fit any political agenda. It’s not a useful crime. Reverse the races and just imagine how the national media would cover the story of a young black couple murdered by five white assailants."