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Public Notices

April 17, 2014

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Self Trial Date Aug. 12; Location Is Still Unclear

Originally published: 2013-05-17 10:51:47
Last modified: 2013-05-17 10:54:52
 


BY KEN LITTLE

STAFF WRITER

Tennessee Senior Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has set a new trial date of Aug. 12 in the Ethan Self case, court officials said.

It was unclear today if the trial will be held in Greene County or another location.

Blackwood, who was assigned the case in April after Judge John F. Dugger Jr. unexpectedly recused himself from the case, has an office in Knoxville.

The April 12 motion hearing when Dugger recused himself was scheduled to resume this morning in the state Supreme Court chambers in Knoxville, with Blackwood presiding.

The judge has familiarized himself with the case, which will proceed from the point of the motion hearing, court officials said.

Self, now 21, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the March 2010 shooting death of his police officer father, Roger Self.

His trial has been continued three times, and had been set by Dugger to begin in September.

Dugger recused himself from the case after citing a potential conflict of interest relating to his administrative assistant, Virginia Dale Gass.

Gass told the judge in April that she was Roger Self's fifth- and seventh-grade teacher at McDonald Elementary School, and that she is in the process of inheriting farm property with a boundary line shared by a Bible Chapel Road farm owned by the Self family.

Ethan Self remains free on $500,000 bond.

He was charged with his father's shooting death the day after Roger Self's body was found in the bedroom of their Love Street home. Ethan Self's deceased mother, Roger Self's late wife, died in 2007.

Blackwood, 66, retired in 2004 as a Circuit Court judge from Somerville in West Tennessee. He has lived in the Maryville area since retirement.

He is one of three senior judges appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to preside over cases requiring a special judge.

Berkeley Bell, Third Judicial District attorney general, recused himself from the Self case in 2011. Tony Clark, First Judicial District attorney general, was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.

MOVE FROM GREENE COUNTY?

Among motions Blackwood will decide on today is a request by lead defense lawyer John T. Milburn Rogers to have the trial moved from Greene County.

Dugger ruled last year that the jury in the Self trial will be selected in Hamblen County because of pre-trial publicity the case had received in Greene County.

Blackwood is also expected to rule on other motions today about evidence and about testimony to be allowed at Self's trial.

 
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