New trial granted for Knoxville man convicted of killing toddler

New trial granted for Knoxville man convicted of killing toddler

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Paul Jerome Johnson, Jr. in 2010 Paul Jerome Johnson, Jr. in 2010

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A judge on Wednesday granted a new trial for a Knoxville man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend's toddler in 2008.

Paul Jerome Johnson, Jr. was convicted in July 2010 of beating and strangling 18-month-old Joseph Manning, Jr. to death. He received a sentence of life in prison.

Johnson's original trial was presided over by Judge Richard Baumgartner, but the judge resigned and pleaded guilty to official misconduct before ruling on a new trial motion.

Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood ruled that he couldn't replace Baumgartner as the 13th juror based on the transcripts alone.

The judge set the new trial date for November 5.

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