Judge’s court order leaves a lot of questions in domestic violence case

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Attorneys say what happened in Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett's courtroom is rare.

She issued a sentence in one breath and then granting a new trial to the same defendant in the next.

"This does not happen very often, " said Attorney Blake Ballin.

He isn't complaining, his client former Collierville teacher, Micheal Halliburton is the one who won the second chance.

"He obviously would like to be released and have a new trial," said Ballin.

That after Halliburton was convicted of brutally attacking his then-wife and beating her with a knife sharpener in their Germantown home in 2012.

Judge Blackett gave Halliburton 20 years, then said he could get a new trial.

Initially, there was talk of attorney misconduct.

"I believe I presented myself professionally. I know the state presented themslevs professionally. Certainly I think there were legal errors made," said Ballin.

Ballin believes those errors included the judge not allowing evidence at trial on how Halliburton was treated by his in-laws, and Judge Blackett leaving jurors in the courtroom alone with attorneys.

"Those were the kinds of things we listed in our motion for a new trial," said Ballin.

He says those things were never directly cited by the Judge .

A hearing Monday came with only a brief order saying, '... upon this court's exhaustive review of transcripts of the Sentencing Hearing...the Court grants the motion for a new trial.'

"Because of Judge Blackett's vagueness in her order last week, it's still unclear on what she was basing her decision on," said Ballin.

Our attempts to reach Judge Blackett were unsuccessful.

She has now recused herself from the case, turning it over to Judge
Robert Carter, who has set an August 27th hearing.

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