New Trial Order Vacated In Knoxville Murder Convictions
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Supreme Court has overturned a special judge's decision to order new trials for three murder defendants after the judge in their original trial pleaded guilty to official misconduct.
The court ruled Thursday that the order for new trials for Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins and George Thomas must be vacated because the defendants had not shown that former Judge Richard Baumgartner's misconduct outside the courtroom affected their trials. The Supreme Court sent the cases back to the original trial court to reconsider the new trial motions.
The three were convicted in 2009 in the slayings of 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom.
An investigation later found Baumgartner was abusing pills acquired from a drug court graduate. In
December, Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ordered the retrials.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)