KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Prosecutors want a judge to recuse himself after he sent them an email saying he would grant retrials, without a public hearing, for three men convicted in the torture and slaying of a Knoxville couple.
The district attorney argues Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has made up his mind to grant new trials no matter what and is unfairly depriving the state of a hearing.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported records made public as part of the motion show the judge has attempted to avoid public scrutiny of his decisions by removing files from the court records.
He also communicated with attorneys by email and at private meetings rather than holding public hearings and issuing public orders. In his emails, Blackwood complains of criticism by bloggers and the media.
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