Judge, Prosecutors at Odds Over Retrials

Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ruled yesterday that former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner had not affirmed the jury verdict in the case of Paul Jerome Johnson Jr., found guilty in the July 2008 death of an 18-month-old child. Saying he could not serve as the so-called "13th juror" required by law to affirm verdicts, Blackwood granted Johnson a new trial. If the decision stands, it likely means that new trials also will be granted for child rapist Jayson Bailey, mall shooter William Johnson and kidnapper Tallie Lee Riley. But prosecutors disagree that Baumgartner did not fulfill the legal requirement and say they are taking the case to the Court of Criminal Appeals. The News Sentinel has more