Former Judge Was Addicted To Narcotics On Bench, Had Sex During Breaks
*Knox County, Tn.,* Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was heavily addicted to prescription drugs during his final two years on the bench. So addicted in fact that he was having sex and buying pills during courtroom breaks, even purchasing from convicts he had previously sentenced. His addiction has called into question many of the cases he presided over, including one of Knoxville’s most notorious murder trials.
Baumgartner stepped down from the bench and pleaded guilty in March 2011 to a single count of official misconduct. It took another eight months before an investigation the seriousness of the judge’s drug problem It has cast doubt about whether he was sober enough to be sitting on the bench.
Another judge has tossed out the convictions from the high-profile murder case and ordered new trials. Many other defendants are filing motions for new trials. Due to the sheer number of people convicted in … (Continued...)