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Horror in Knoxville update: Retrials granted after discovery of drug-abusing judge

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By Michelle Malkin  •  December 1, 2011 02:28 PM

This is just unconscionable. I’ve kept you up to date for years on the Christian-Newsom murder case, which received scant national media attention, but touched countless Americans across the country who have not forgotten the crimes.

The latest? After four years of agonizing trials, the families of the young murder victims must go through hell again.

All thanks to a reckless, drug-abusing judge:

Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has granted the motion for new trials for all four of the defendants convicted in the murders of Channon Christian and Chris Newsom.

The judge announced his decision just after 1 pm Thursday. The trials of the four defendants were presided over by former Judge Richard Baumgartner, who was removed from the bench after admitting he had a drug addiction.

The file of the TBI investigation outlined evidence that Baumgartner was likely impaired while presiding over those trials.

The evidence included Baumgartner’s abuse of hydrocodone, oxycodone, and oxycontin.

Baumgartner illegally obtained drugs from addicts, some of them had been in his courtroom.

Judge Blackwood was visibly upset as he talked about the decision he was about to make.

Baumgartner was disbarred in October.

What a hellish, hellish mess he has made.

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