New judge appointed in three Christian-Newsom cases

Judge Walter Kurtz (Source: Tennessee Office of the Courts)

NASHVILLE (WATE) – A new judge has been picked to handle three of the Christian-Newsom murder cases.

Senior Judge Walter Kurtz was tapped Wednesday by the Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Kurtz served on the Circuit Court bench in Davidson County for 25 years, where he presided over civil and criminal cases, including numerous death penalty cases.

An appeals court last week ordered Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to be recused from cases involving Letalvis Cobbins, LeMaricus Davidson and George Thomas.

In that decision, the court cited evidence, including a courtroom outburst, as reasons why Blackwood’s impartiality could be questioned.

Blackwood took the case after the original trial judge, Richard Baumgartner, admitted an addiction to painkillers.

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