Lee Davis: An End To The Baumgartner Saga As Jury Convicts Disgraced Judge

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - by Lee Davis
Lee Davis
Lee Davis

A federal jury in Knoxville, Tennessee voted to convict former Knox County criminal court judge Richard Baumgartner, who was charged with lying to cover up a scheme that provided him with painkillers and sex.

The verdict meant that the former judge was found guilty on five counts of misprision of a felony and acquitted of one charge. Prosecutors were successfully able to convince the jury that Baumgartner had lied to cover up a conspiracy involving a defendant from his court supplying him with pills and sex. Baumgartner’s defense conceded he was an addict and adulterer, but unsuccessfully argued that his actions were not a federal crime.

The jury foreperson later spoke about the deliberations and said that jurors were never deadlocked on any of the counts as they debated their verdict, despite a few questions that led some observers to believe they were.

Deliberations lasted nearly 20 hours and many observers wondered what was taking the jury so long. The jury led some to believe they were going to end up deadlocked given a few of the questions they had for the judge. One question asked what they should write on the verdict form if they did not agree. The foreperson said that the question was not asked because of any actual deadlock, but instead asked preemptively, so that she could plan ahead in the event that unanimity was not possible.

The foreperson said that the reason for the delay was the complexity of each count that they had to decide on. For each charge, the jury of 12 people had to come to an agreement on four distinct elements: First there was a drug conspiracy. Second, Baumgartner had full knowledge of it. Third, he failed to report it. Fourth, he then worked to conceal the felony.

Some of the counts were easier for the jury to agree on than others and they ultimately acquitted Baumgartner on Count Two. The foreperson said the reason for that decision was because the crime of misprision deals with lying to federal officials and Count Two involved an incident at St. Mary’s hospital. The jury decided that there were not any federal officials present at the hospital and thus cleared Baumgartner on Count Two.

Read: “Richard Baumgartner Guilty: Jury Convicts Ex-judge In Drug Conspiracy Cover-up,” by The Associated Press, published at HuffingtonPost.com.

(Lee Davis is a Chattanooga attorney who can be reached at lee@davis-hoss.com or at 266-0605.)


New And Used Vehicle Sales Increase In July

New vehicle sales in Hamilton County increased to 1,190 in July and used vehicle sales increased to 3,641, according to figures from the County Clerk's office.  That compares to 1,162 new vehicles sold and 3,488 used vehicles sold in July of last year.  Totals for July included 485 new cars and 705 new trucks sold. They included 1,871 used cars and 1,770 used trucks sold. (click for more)

GDOL To Host A Recruitment Next Week In Fort Oglethorpe To Fill 500 Jobs With Convergys

The Georgia Department of Labor will help Convergys hire 500 customer service and sales representatives at a recruitment Tuesday, Aug. 11, in Fort Oglethorpe. The recruitment will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the council meeting room at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall located at 500 City Hall Dr. Convergys is a company that provides customer management solutions for companies internationally. ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges; Report Says He Drove Excessive Hours

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

Sterling Jetton Seeks Office Of Hamilton County Assessor Of Property

Sterling Jetton announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for the office of Hamilton County assessor of property.  The Republican Primary will be held on March 1.  After serving in the United States Army and the National Guard, Rev. Jetton has worked as an employee of the Assessor of Property’s office for 27 years.  Rev. Jetton has also served in bi-vocational ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Silly Apology

It didn’t get a lot of attention, as well it should not have, but when I heard Japanese giant Mitsubishi was offered an apology for heinous war crimes that took place during World War II, I thought it was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. But, no, in a solemn ceremony last month hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, that is exactly what ... (click for more)