Blackwood Removed from Retrial Cases

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday ordered Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood removed from the retrial cases of three defendants previously found guilty in the January 2007 torture slayings of a Knoxville couple. The ruling comes after a series of hearings, legal maneuvers and decisions about the case following revelations that the judge presiding over the original trials – Richard Baumgartner – was involved in activity that may have impacted his ability to conduct a fair proceeding. The state attorney general and the Knox County district attorney sought to have Blackwood removed, arguing that he had lost his objectivity because of his anger over Baumgartner’s behavior. The News Sentinel has more