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Christian-Newsom – Trials Going Nowhere Fast


After the fiery June 14 hearing, Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has issued a new order that throws out new trials for Lemaricus Davidson and Letalvis Cobbins.  The retrial order for George Thomas still stands.

The Tennessee Supreme Court overruled Blackwood’s order granting new trials after they concluded that there was no evidence Baumgartner’s drug abuse outside of the courtroom affected the outcome of the cases.  Blackwood then cited the 13th juror role and again ordered new trials on June 5.

Blackwood’s new order, issued Wednesday, indicates he has decided to review the transcripts of the Davidson and Cobbins trials.  He set a hearing date of August 17 to announce his decision.

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t that transcript review have been done before all this mess?

The new order also addressed the prosecution motion for Blackwood to recuse himself.

Prosecutors claim Blackwood is too emotionally invested in the case and couldn’t follow the supreme court’s instruction.

Blackwood’s “reliance on ex parte communication during this litigation undermines confidence in its fairness and impartiality.”

Blackwood’s “lack of candor with the local media has failed to promote the public confidence in the integrity of this court.”

One of the more troublesome arguments is “new guidance by the Tennessee Supreme Court suggest the motion to recuse should be addressed first before any further action is taken in the case.”

Blackwood has set a hearing for October 8 when he will decide whether or not he will step aside, well after he will issue a decision on new trials.  The timing of the recusal hearing means the prosecution cannot appeal!




  1. ritanita
    06/22/2012 at 8:50 am

    All this because of Baumgartner and political pressure! I am so confused as to why Blackwood didn’t deal with this in an efficient, judicial manner. Is he playing politics as well? Is he having trouble controlling his emotions?

    All this while, TPTB are comepletely ignoring the unnecessary suffering of the victims’ families.

  2. Jo
    06/22/2012 at 10:56 am

    I read the interview with Ms.Satterfield, twice Some bits of info which she certainly knows because it is her “beat” mentioned. Call me jaded but if she wants to get priority info from the court (whatever sources she has cultivated), she certainly is not going to say anything untoward about the judge. No one, after all, said anything about Baumgartner and I suspect MANY knew of his (mis)behavior.

    I agree with you “intentional” about timing and still say something stinks. It appears this judge has a thin skin and no one dare tell him what to do including the Tenn. Supreme Court. I am wondering though if something was said to him privately and his attitude is such that he has said …ok I will review the transcripts but I won’t make this decision about recusal until October…… Then again, I could be way off the mark.

    As Ritanita said the victims’ families are the ones who continue to suffer and that is the saddest part.

  3. donchais
    06/22/2012 at 11:43 am

    I am suspect of Blackwood’s motives. His ego certainly plays a huge part in this and I wonder if his capitulation to review the trial transcripts is his way of trying to dig himself out of a PR nightmare and he is just going through the motions…only to end up ordering new trial for the third time. Although, that will certain blow up in his face due to the fact we have strong DNA evidence from Davidson and Cobbins.

    Jo, you’re right many, many people, including folks in high places, knew what Baumgartner doing!

  4. 06/24/2012 at 8:33 pm

    I think you’ve nailed it donchais. More than just ego is at work here…

  5. Laura Baer
    07/01/2012 at 10:09 am

    Blackwood should recuse himself if he had any integrity or judicial professionalism at all. Shame on him.

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