Judge Blackwood denies motion to recuse himself

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied a defense motion to recuse himself from the retrials of the defendants previously convicted of the killings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom

Defendant George Thomas listens to proceedings on the third day of his torture-murder trial Thursday, December 3, 2009 in Knox County Criminal Court. Thomas is the third defendant to be tried for the January 2007 slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, 23. Thomas could get the death penalty if convicted. (Photo Courtesy: J. Miles Carey, Knoxville News Sentinel)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied a defense motion to recuse himself from the retrials of the defendants previously convicted of the killings of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in January 2007.

Blackwood had ordered retrials for the four defendants because of the fallout from the former Judge Richard Baumgartner prescription drug abuse scandal. The District Attorney General's office has worked to prevent retrials for three of the defendants, George Thomas, LaMaricus Davidson, and Letalvis Cobbins. It is not contesting a new trial for Vanessa Coleman.

Thomas' attorney has also filed a motion asking for a trial soon, invoking his right to a speedy trial.


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