TN judge changes baby's name from 'Messiah' to 'Martin' - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

TN judge changes baby's name from 'Messiah' to 'Martin'

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COCKE COUNTY, (WMC-TV) - One Tennessee baby with a potentially controversial name is being renamed by a local judge.

Seven-month-old Messiah DeShawn Martin was originally brought before the Cocke County Chancery Court to decide what the child's last name should be...when his first name came into question.

Mother Jaleesa Martin was surprised when her son's first name was changed by the child support judge.

"I was shocked," stated Martin.

Judge Lu Ann Ballew defended her decision to change the child's name to "Martin McCullough" which includes both parents' last names and leaves out 'Messiah'.

"I thought out into the future. It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," explained Ballew.

This is the first time Judge Ballew has ordered a first name change.

Martin is not pleased with the adaptation, "Everybody believes what they want. I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him ... not someone else."

Martin's two older children are named Micah and Mason.

Judge Ballew has ordered the parents to change the name on the birth certificate.

Martin is appealing the decision.

The appeal will go before a chancellor September 17th.

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