Convicted child rapist seeks new trial after ex-judge scandal

Convicted child rapist seeks new trial after ex-judge scandal

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By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A convicted child rapist sought a new trial in court Thursday. The case is part of the fallout from ex-Knox County Judge Richard Baumgartner's extramarital sex and painkiller addiction scandal.

Jayson Bailey was convicted in April 2010 and sentenced to 38 years. The judge who presided over the case was Richard Baumgartner.

In March 2011, Baumgartner resigned from the bench and pleaded guilty to official misconduct after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation probe found he'd been buying pills from a man convicted in his court.

Now Bailey's attorney, Greg Isaacs, says Baumgartner's addiction prevented his client from getting a fair trial.

"He was legally and ethically incompetent and his actions not only affected but destroyed his ability," Isaacs said.

Assistant District Attorney General Phil Morton disagrees, saying Bailey had a constitutionally competent jury, judge and attorney in the case. "What he had in April of 2010 was all three of those," he argued in court.

Isaacs wants the DA's office off the case because members were interviewed in the TBI probe of Baumgartner.

He also wants to be able to use the information in the TBI file as evidence, including interviewing witnesses.

Isaacs says the state allowed the defendants in the Christian-Newsom murders to use the TBI information as evidence in the December hearing when new trials were granted.

Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz will hear evidence for a new trial in August, but this is subject to change if the DA's office is recused.

"If we have to do a retrial in these cases we're going to do it," Judge Leibowitz said.

The next hearing in this case is scheduled for January 27.

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