http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jul/02/man-killed-accident-served-high-profile-jury/?print=1Man killed in accident had served on Christian-Newsom jury
By J.J. Stambaugh
Friday, July 2, 2010
KNOXVILLE - A 32-year-old Knoxville man who was struck and killed by a vehicle Wednesday morning on Pellissippi Parkway was one of the jurors who decided the fate of the ringleader in the 2007 slayings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom.
Daniel Lynn Akers served on the jury that convicted Lemaricus Davidson last October for the rape and murder of Christian, 21, and Newsom, 23, according to Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, who presided over the trial.
The crime began as a carjacking; Christian and Newsom were kidnapped and taken to a house on Chipman Street. Both of them were raped and then killed by their attackers.
The jury imposed the death penalty on Davidson, who was portrayed by authorities as the ringleader.
The names of the jurors in the case remain sealed by court order, but Baumgartner today confirmed that Akers sat on the panel.
Akers was on his cell phone waiting for his father to come to the phone when he was struck at 2:01 a.m., according to the Alcoa Police Department.
Akers had been eastbound on Pellissippi Parkway when the 2000 Dodge Viper he was driving left the road and struck the concrete median barrier just west of the Topside Road interchange, police said. Akers, who was not seriously injured, got out of the car and called his stepmother about the crash.
At the same time, Kenneth W. Truss, 28, of Wheeler Road in Louisville was eastbound on the parkway in a 2007 Ford Mustang, police said. Truss told police he swerved to avoid Akers' crash at the same time Akers "stumbled into the road into his path of travel" and was killed, police said in a press release.
No charges have been filed. The investigation is continuing.
Akers graduated from Alcoa High School in 1995 and attended Maryville College and Walters State Community College on baseball scholarships. He later graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in communications.
He worked at Clayton Homes as a salesman.
His funeral service is set for tonight, and burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Woodlawn Cemetery, 4500 Woodlawn Pike in Knoxville.
His family has requested that memorials be made to Knox Area Rescue Ministries, P.O. Box 3310, Knoxville, Tenn., 37917.
More details as they develop online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.