In his appearance before Gordon County Superior Court Judge David Smith, Buchannon declined to have his indictment formally read in court after entering his plea of not guilty to all 14 charges against him.
Five months after McKnight’s murder, Buchannon was indicted by a grand jury in December 2010 in the Superior Court of Gordon County with charges relating to the events that occurred the night of McKnight’s death.
According to the indictment:
Buchannon is charged with murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, burglary, hijacking a motor vehicle, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of theft by taking.
He is also charged with criminal trespassing and two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer.
“This case is a high priority,” said Smith. He reassured the courtoom that the case would be tried quickly, but not before each side is able to prepare for trial.
“I am confident that this case will be tried at the right time,” Smith added.
According to the indictment, Buchannon stole a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun and entered McKnight’s house “without authority” and “with intent to commit the crime of murder and kidnapping with bodily injury.” Buchannon then allegedly shot Cody Adams, and Dustin Henderson, McKnight’s teenage nephew and son.
Henderson, McKnight’s son, had just returned from Florida hours before her abduction and murder.
Buchannon allegedly took Adams’ and Henderson’s cell phones, kidnapped McKnight and took “a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro from the presence of Christy A. McKnight by force, violence and intimidation,” the indictment states.
Authorities believe Buchannon abducted McKnight from her home in her Camaro. Later that evening, Buchannon allegedly “with malice aforethought cause(d) the death of Christy A. McKnight” by shooting her in the neck and chest area, the indictment states.
Following these events Buchannon “intentionally damage(d) the building of Hill City Baptist Church without its consent by breaking out (a) glass pane on said building and leaving trails and pools of blood in (the) hallway and bathroom,” the indictment states. The damage to Hill City Baptist Church was less than $500.
According to the indictment, Buchannon then fled from the church into the woods nearby and committed aggravated assault on two Whitfield County deputies by pointing a deadly weapon at them and causing “reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.”