Magistrate didn't plan on changing baby Messiah's name - at first

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Court records filed after an East Tennessee magistrate changed a baby's first name from Messiah to Martin indicate the magistrate originally ruled to keep the baby's first name.

According to a brief filed Friday in Cocke County Chancery Court, the magistrate held a paternity hearing for Messiah Martin on July 22. The boy's father wanted Messiah's last name changed to McCullough, the father's name. In court, the magistrate ruled the child's name would remain Messiah Martin.

But according to the brief, the magistrate's original written findings on the name were "whited out" in the court record. The magistrate then called a second hearing where she changed the child's name to Martin McCullough, saying that "'Messiah' is a title that is held only by Jesus Christ."

The appeal hearing is Wednesday.

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