NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Tennessee State Court appointed Judge Walter Kurtz to oversee three cases in the Christian-Newsom murders.
Senior Judge Kurtz, a retired judge in Davidson County, will take over the cases of Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas. He replaced Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood.
The Court of Criminal Appeals ordered Judge Blackwood removed from the cases earlier this month. It was a concern that he may be "too emotionally attached" to the case.
Judge Blackwood will still preside over Vanessa Coleman's retrial set for November.
Senior Judge Kurtz has served as senior judge since 2008, when he stepped down from the Circuit Court bench in Davidson County, a position he held for more than 25 years.
Kurtz served as presiding judge from 1987 to 1989, and has presided over both civil and criminal cases, including numerous death penalty cases.
Senior judges are former trial and appellate court judges who may be assigned on a temporary basis to any state court. Judge Kurtz took another 4-year appointment as a senior judge in early 2012, with the understanding that he would retire at the end of this year.
Judge Kurtz has agreed to extend his time on the bench to see these cases through to a resolution.