Christian and Newsom families call Blackwood's recusal a win

Christian and Newsom families call Judge Blackwood's recusal a win

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"It feels like we have finally won a victory, finally getting closer to the justice we want for Chris and Channon," said Mary Newsom. "It feels like we have finally won a victory, finally getting closer to the justice we want for Chris and Channon," said Mary Newsom.
"Somebody had to stand up and stop this crazy stuff," said Gary Christian. "Somebody had to stand up and stop this crazy stuff," said Gary Christian.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Christians and Newsoms call the judge's recusal in the murder trials of their children a big win.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals in Knoxville ordered Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to remove himself from three of the murder cases.

The court said Judge Blackwood's actions over the last year, including a yelling match between him and Knox County District Attorney Randy Nichols, demonstrated his impartiality could be reasonably questioned.

After months of motions and hearings, the Christians and the Newsoms said it was a good day, a win against what they call a very unprecedented situation.

"It was good news of course. It feels like we have finally won a victory, finally getting closer to the justice we want for Chris and Channon," said Mary Newsom, the mother of Chris Newsom.

Mary and Hugh Newsom said they were surprised by the decision to remove Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood from the three cases - surprised but happy.

"This is a very unprecedented issue that hasn't been carried this far before and I think finally the proper authorities stepped in to stop it," said Mr. Newsom.

The Christians said this is what they've been waiting for.

"We've waited for what? Over a year now, all these motions and nothing about the actual case, or about Channon or Chris, so I feel it's a big win for the both of them," said Deena Christian, Channon's mother.

After sitting in on the hearings this summer, the Christians said it was obvious to them Judge Blackwood was not impartial.

"Somebody had to stand up and stop this crazy stuff, he was not I don't know if the word is fit, he wasn't objective, he had lost it.  I don't know what his agenda was but obviously he is not going to see the end of that," said Gary Christian.

The 31-page ruling did not mention Vanessa Coleman's case. The state did not ask Blackwood to recuse himself from her retrial.  But the families of Chris and Channon are concerned as the trail looms just weeks away.

"This is what we were hoping for. We're happy, but we're also concerned going into Vanessa Coleman's trial with Judge Blackwood. I think he should recuse himself from that," said Mr. Newsom.

"I wish it was all four, but I'll take the three," said Mrs. Christian.

6 News legal analyst Greg Isaacs said he does not expect Vanessa Coleman's trial to begin this month.

Isaacs explained with Thursday's ruling there is reason to believe the state will ask for Blackwood to recuse himself from her trial as well now that there is a written opinion that he has bias towards them.

Vanessa Coleman's trial is scheduled for Nov. 12.

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