Court Stops New Trials for Baumgartner-decided Cases

The Court of Criminal Appeals has issued a stay of new trials ordered for three of the four defendants in the January 2007 torture slayings of a Knox County couple and an unrelated attempted murder case. Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood late last year ruled the trials of the defendants in the slayings were constitutionally flawed because of the misdeeds of former Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner. The reprieve, however, is temporary, designed to allow the respective defense teams time to respond to the state Attorney General's Office request for permission to appeal orders granting the new trials. Read more in the News Sentinel.