Convicted rapist seeks new trial over ex-judge's impairment

Convicted Knox County rapist seeks new trial over ex-judge's impairment

Posted:
Jayson Bailey (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Jayson Bailey (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
"I feel like as the victim, none of us really get our say like our rights. Everything is more for the defense," Michelle Garrett said. "I feel like as the victim, none of us really get our say like our rights. Everything is more for the defense," Michelle Garrett said.

By HANA KIM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The ruling for new trials in the Christian-Newsom murders has also opened the door for new trials in many other cases where ex-Judge Richard Baumgartner presided.

There's already a battle brewing in the case against Jayson Bailey. A jury convicted him in April 2010 on four counts of rape of a child, among other charges.

Baumgartner sentenced Bailey to 38 years behind bars.

The victim is Bailey's stepdaughter, Michelle Garrett, 17. Her family allowed 6 News to interview her on Monday.

The teen says she cannot believe she was back inside a courtroom Monday fighting to keep her rapist behind bars.

During last year's trial, Garrett testified that her stepfather raped her for more than two years, the first time when she was 11 years old.

Bailey wasn't in court Monday, but his attorney, Greg Isaacs, is fighting for a new trial.

Isaacs says Baumgartner's addiction to pain pills at the time prevented his client from getting a fair trial.

"Their office should want to do the right thing in all of these cases. Let us put the Baumgartner facts before the courts and do the right thing. Let us not try to hide behind technicalities," Isaacs argued in court.

"It was tried by a jury, DNA evidence, end of case, done. Why is it still going on? It's ridiculous, whether the judge was on drugs or not," said the victim's uncle, William Garrett.

"He made good decisions, and I don't see why taxpayers have to go through this long, drawn out thing," said the victim's father, Michael Garrett.

"It's ridiculous to put the families through this," said the teen's grandmother, Jeannie Garrett.

Michelle Garrett says she feels victimized all over again. "I feel like as the victim, none of us really get our say like our rights. Everything is more for the defense," she said.

The Garrett family is asking how Baumgartner was abusing drugs while serving as a judge for so long.

"It's a mess to the say the least really. It stems from not only his actions, but everyone who worked alongside of him in his courthouse, the inaction of stepping in and doing the right thing," Jeannie Garrett said..

Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz is expected to make a ruling on the motion for new trial on January 5. 

Michelle says she'll be there, and she'll keep fighting to keep Bailey behind bars.

The Knox County District Attorney's Office says no one in their department knew about Baumgartner's prescription pill addiction until the TBI report was released. 

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