Skip to comments.Former Judge Richard Baumgartner faces 7 federal counts of failing to report felonious activity
Posted on 05/16/2012 9:54:32 AM PDT by SmithL
Once a revered Knox County Criminal Court judge, Richard Baumgartner on Tuesday shuffled into a federal courtroom in shackles, accused of covering up the drug-trafficking crimes of the mistress he met via a Drug Court program he helped found.
Baumgartner, who sent thousands of people to prison in his nearly two-decade-long tenure as judge, was arrested Tuesday as he drove away from his East Knox County farm and hauled into U.S. District Court with shackles on his feet and a chain wrapped around his belly and connected to handcuffs.
He said little during his appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley on a seven-count indictment alleging a series of lies he told and crimes he concealed on behalf of mistress and Drug Court graduate Deena Castleman beginning in June 2009, a time during which a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe showed he was addicted to prescription painkillers.
Simultaneously, he was presiding over one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Knoxville's history the January 2007 torture slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23.
The convictions in those cases have since been overturned, as have been convictions in at least four unrelated cases.
Baumgartner, 65, abruptly stepped down from the bench in January 2011 amid the TBI probe. Three months later, he pleaded guilty to a single count of official misconduct in state court proceedings for buying hundreds of pills from Christopher Gibson, a felon under probation in his court.
There was no mention then of his connection to Castleman, and Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood granted Baumgartner judicial diversion, which kept a felony conviction off his record and, therefore, spared his pension. Under pressure by the News Sentinel, however, it was ultimately revealed that Baumgartner used his judgeship to try to curry favors for Castleman.
(Excerpt) Read more at knoxnews.com ...
What’s the over/under on how many days before he gets “Dahmered”?
This slug should spend the rest of his miserable life in some dark, dank, cell.
DISGRACED JUDGE’S MISTRESS DEENA CASTLEMAN HEADED TO PRISON
On second thought, maybe not.
TN is different. I have long associated it with a corrupt judiciary.
Well based on what I've seen in my limited but at one point extensive experiences in county Chancery court Bumgartner likely isn't the only judge in the area with such issues. He's just the one who got caught. Smaller counties are more close knit and as long as everyone is happy no one snitches. I saw one judge in another county who looked like he had Irish Coffee for breakfast and his disposition was simular to that of one who had a huge hangover.
A little better, but not by much.
Jail has made her a little puffy.
He is in serious trouble. Not only is the outcome of the heinous crime he oversaw in jeopardy, every court action during this timeline is in jeopardy of being retried. Knoxville nor Washington is very receptive to this.